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Bhopal unit was Naxals? R&D centre

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 03:35 IST

THE ILLEGAL arms factory that was busted in a raid in Satnami Nagar on January 11 here was an R&D (Research and Development) centre for the Naxalites towards attaining ‘self-sufficiency’ in manufacturing sophisticated weapons so as to fulfil their dream of seizing power in the country.

One of the five arrested Naxalites, Chekka Krishna alias Shekhar, 47, who earlier said that his name was Sriniwas, is the member of Central Technical Committee (CTC) of the Maoists and carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, said Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Anuradha Shankar Singh on Friday.

Highly sophisticated modern weapons including RPG-7 rocket launchers and 81-mm mortar were being developed here. Chekka Krishna, a native of Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) has a ‘very high level of expertise’ in manufacturing weapons and
went to other states also to impart training to Naxalites in making of arms and ammunitions, said the DIG.

Singh said the weapon components made here were sent to Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and other states. They visited other states and had managed to gain some foothold in Gujarat that does not fall in the ‘Red Corridor’ of ultra-leftists. Two of the arrested persons, Ramesh and Diwakar, are wanted for several killings in Andhra Pradesh including that of policemen and at least one politician.

Mostly they selected places where police would not be too vigilant about Naxalites and chose a place where ancillary industries abound in order to camouflage their factory, said Anuradha Shankar Singh, in a press conference. Bhopal SP Anant Kumar Singh was also present.

“The material seized indicated that the preparations for a major war against the State were on”, she added. The best available books on weaponry from all over the world that were recovered in the raid, apart from the Naxalites’ e-library, was probably their biggest such collection in this country and is a major setback to Maoists’ technical wing, officials say.

The other arrested Naxalites, Yelavarthi Leelakrishna alias Diwakar, a native of Guntur, is a member of district committee and carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh. Ramesh Siddhi alias Dunna Dange, 40, an area committee member, had Rs 3 lakh on his head, Lanjupally Rani alais Sunita, 25, an area committee member, carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh and so was the fifth arrested Naxalite Gandrakota Pentaiah alias Satish Patil, 57. 

On the basis on information obtained from the arrested Maoists, raids have been conducted in several states and more Naxalites are being arrested. The accused are in police remand until January 25. Police of half-a-dozen states and
Central agencies have been interrogating the Naxalites.

The accused have told police that the aim is to convert their People’s Guerilla Army to People’s Liberation Army after providing enough weapons to recruits and then launch a war against state. Here the Naxalites used software and designed weapons on CAD/CAM based on principles of reverse engineering.

The weapons were sent from Bhopal to Indore and through transporters delivered to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The last consignment comprising three boxes of mortars was sent early this month (January 8). The police conducted successful raids in Indore on Thursday. Financial rewards could be given by Andhra Pradesh police to informers, say police officials here. The MP Police is interrogating Naxalites and hope for more revelations.