Officials of the anti-naxalite squad have arrested Sudhir Dhawale, 42, an alleged top aide of state naxalite chief, Milind Teltumbde, at Wardha — around 635 km from Mumbai.
According to the local police, Dhawale, a resident of Byculla, was in Wardha to attend the Ambedkar Yuva Sahitya Sammelan. He was boarding a train to Mumbai when he was arrested on Sunday evening based on information provided by the six naxalites, who had been arrested by the Gondia police on December 26, 2010.
The police have registered a case against Dhawale under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and sedition charge. He has been remanded in police custody for nine days.
Teltumbde had also reportedly accompanied the six arrested naxalites after attending a meeting in a hideout at Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, but he managed to give the slip to the police.
Ravindra Kadam, deputy inspector general of police, anti-naxalite squad, said the police have concrete evidence about Dhawale being an active member of the naxalite movement.
He had been recently elevated as a state committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
Dhawale and Teltumbde had allegedly instigated dalits after the Bhotmanage family’s massacre in Khairlanji village three years ago, resulting in violence across Maharashtra.
Dhawale’s wife, Darshana, a matron with the railway hospital at Byculla, alleged that he was falsely implicated by the police. “My husband is a social worker and was never associated with naxalite movement. The state police raided my Byculla house on Monday and a search operation was on for more than six hours. The police seized 89 books of Karl Marx, Lenin and others. They were looking for naxalite literature,” she said.
“Is keeping and reading books of Karl Marx and Lenin was illegal?”
Lawyer Surendra Gadling, who is Darshana’s brother, claimed Dhawale is a freelance journalist and the editor of Marathi magazine, Vidrohi. “The state police are terrorising innocent people. We are contesting the case and will send a three-member team of lawyers to Gondia on January 5 to meet Dhawale.”