Monday, February 08, 2010

Scholar among arrested Maoists

Lucknow, Feb. 8: Uttar Pradesh police today claimed to have made the biggest Maoist catch since the arrest of Khobad Ghandy last year by taking into custody two top-rung leaders, one of them a PhD degree holder from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Police said Chintan and Balraj, both members of the apex central committee of the CPI (Maoist), were among 11 Naxalite leaders arrested in a night raid at Allahabad, Gorakhpur and Kanpur.

Chintan, 64, who also went by the names of Banshidhar Singh, P.P. Singh and Talin Baba, has PhD and MPhil degrees from JNU. Balraj, 51, also known as BR and Arvind, is a science graduate.

Both, the police claimed, were close associates of Ghandy, the Doon School-educated chartered accountant turned Maoist ideologue who was arrested in September last year in Delhi.

The nine others arrested are Navin Prasad Singh, Ambreesh, Deepak Ram, Shivraj Singh, Rajendra Kumar Fulara, Kripa Shankar, Seema Azad, Viswavijay and Asha Munda. The police claimed they had been planning to expand the Maoist network in north India.

Chintan and Balraj were originally from the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) faction in Bihar and had been put in charge of expanding the network for which a northern regional bureau had been set up, Uttar Pradesh director-general of police Karmveer Singh said.

The breakthrough came with the arrest of Seema Azad and her husband Viswavijay from Allahabad and Asha Munda from Gorakhpur yesterday. During their interrogation, the police learnt that a top-level meet of Maoist leaders was to take place today at Kanpur.

Late on Sunday night, the police swooped on their hideout, a slum on the outskirts of Kanpur, from where the eight were arrested.

According to literature seized from the leaders, the Maoists were planning to expand their organisation in the three Us: Uttar (North) Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Chintan and Balraj were carrying out campaigns in the region.

The police said Balraj and Chintan had participated in guerrilla activities as well as in ideological campaigns in Lalgarh, Purulia and Bankura.

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