Friday, April 16, 2010

PUNE: Cell to track Naxal footprints in city

Chandan Haygunde Posted online: Friday , Apr 16, 2010 at 2320 hrs

Pune : The Pune police have decided to start a special Naxal cell for gathering intelligence on Naxalite movements in the city in the wake of intelligence inputs that the Maoist groups are focusing on urban areas of the state.

Sources said intelligence and police agencies have been instructed, after the Dantewada Naxal attack that killed 76 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, to gather information about the Naxalite network, which is believed to be growing in the urban areas of the state.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (special branch) Lakhmi Gautam said they had also sought a dossier on Naxalite movements from the anti-Naxal operations wing of the state police.

The Naxal links of the city had emerged in April 2008, when the Andhra police arrested a wanted Naxal leader Amar alias Kuru Devender along with his two contacts — Mahesh Tirupal Lingaiyaa and wife Padma — from Mane Wasti in Wanavdi. A revolver, a detonator and a box of .303 rifle cartridges were seized from them, besides documents pertaining to the Naxal outfit.

Amar, a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti, had 30 offences registered against him, including those of murder and arson. The Pune police were, however, unaware of his arrest. It was only after a report in The Indian Express that the special branch of city police had sent a constable to Andhra Pradesh to get information about Amar.

The intelligence teams in the city were till recently focusing on jehadi ourfits and the Hindu radical network. Now that Naxalism has emerged as a bigger threat to the country, intelligence is being gathered about individuals and organisations supporting the Maoist philosophy and help in raising funds for the Naxalite groups.

Sources said though the Naxal movement is strong in the forests, there are inputs that members of various Naxalite groups are engaged in spreading the Maoist philosophy in the urban belt.

In January this year, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested Naxalite Surya Devra Prabhakar, a former member of the banned People’s War Group (PWG), from Kanjurmarg in the Mumbai suburbs. Prabhakar, who was workng as an English and Maths tutor, was arrested on charges of trying to spread Maoist philosophy in the city. Investigations revealed that Prabhakar had about nine aliases. Criminal cases had been registered against him at Nagpur and Gadhchiroli.

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