The Bengal police have claimed Maoist leader Venkateswara Rao alias Deepak arrested in Kolkata on Tuesday has severely indicted leaders of his own organisation. He has accused them of hiring goons to carry out attacks on security forces and of misusing ‘levies’ to fund their “lavish lifestyle”.
<b1>The police’s claims could not be verified as Deepak is under interrogation and has not been given access to the media.
Deepak, 44, an explosives expert with a diploma in mechanical engineering, had come to Bengal from Andhra Pradesh in the mid-Nineties with CPI(Maoist) politburo member and spokesman Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji, according to a senior officer of the Bengal police’s Criminal Investigation Department.
A planner of guerilla warfare, Deepak headed his party’s military commission in Bengal before his arrest by CID sleuths in plainclothes, the officer said.
A senior police officer told Hindustan Times that Deepak has not answered most of the CID’s questions but held forth on the issue of his party hiring goons for attacks on security personnel. He said these goons have links with the CPI-M and Trinamool Congress and are mercenaries without any ideological commitment.
“If they can be hired by the lure of money, the same persons can carry out strikes against us if they are paid more,” he was quoted by the officer as having said. “If things continue in this way, I cannot see any hope for our organisation.”
Another police officer said Deepak was also frustrated by the way a handful of Maoist leaders were misusing ‘levies’ extorted from the rich and the poor to fund their own indulgences.
These leaders buy costly mobile phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets and wear costly clothes, unlike the party’s rank and file, Deepak is reported to have told interrogators. He said top leaders even misuse the ‘levies’ to fin-ance their craving for alcohol.
Deepak is believed to have said his differences with Kishenji prompted him to contemplate returning to Andhra Pradesh three years ago.