Top Maoist leaders arrested in West Bengal (Second Lead)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

KOLKATA - In a major breakthrough, the city police’s Special Task Force arrested five top Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) leaders Friday and Saturday, a police officer said.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including foreign made improvised rocket launchers and state-of-the-art communication devices, was also seized.

“Sudip Chongdar (CPI-Maoist state secretary) and his close associates and state committee members Anal Ghosh alias Ajoyda and Burun Sur alias Bidyut and another supporter Bimal Ghosh alias Shankar were arrested on Friday night from Maidan area,” Kolkata Police’s additional commissioner-II and STF chief Rajeev Kumar said.

Another state committee member and wife of Ashim Mondal alias Akash (one of the prominent Maoist leaders) - Anu alias Kalpana Maity - was arrested from Howrah railway station Saturday noon, he told the reporters at city police headquarters at Lal Bazar.

The five Maoist leaders were produced before a sessions court under tight security Saturday evening and remanded to 10 days’ police custody.

“We had specific inputs that Kanchan and three others had assembled in the Maidan area. We conducted a raid and arrested them. Later, we laid a trap and arrested Anu from Howrah,” said Kumar.

“We have already conducted raids in five-six places in the city and its adjacent districts. A huge quantity of arms, ammunition, improvised explosive devices, sophisticated communication equipment, books and cash were recovered from one of their hideouts. Arms and ammunition are also being recovered from other places,” said Kumar, adding that the crack down was a major achievement for the security forces.

“We will seek sanction from the state government so that they can be charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as also for sedition and the arms act,” he said.

A senior police officer said: “We are yet to interrogate them. But we suspect that they assembled here to receive the huge cache of arms and ammunition from their suppliers and were planning to sent those in Junglemahal (Maoist dominated forested areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura) through their couriers.”

Sudip Chongdar, more popularly known as Kanchan alias Batas, was wanted in several cases of sedition and sabotage. He was also one of the prime accused in the landmine blast allegedly triggered by the Maoists on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s convoy at Salboni Nov 2, 2008.

Kanchan took over as CPI-Maoist secretary after his predecessor Soumen alias Himadri Sen Roy was arrested in 2008.

Kanchan became a familiar name as most of the Maoist media releases were issued in his name.

Condemning Kanchan’s arrest, pro-Maoist civil rights group Bandi Mukti Committee official Choton Das demanded the “immediate release of the political leader”.

Filed under: Terrorism

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