Less than a month after it filed the first ever case against Maoist activities in south Gujarat, the state police have arrested an alleged Maoist leader for sedition and waging war against the state.
Niranjan Puroshottam Mahapatra (37) was arrested in the diamond city of Surat on March 15, police said.
Sources said Mahapatra was arrested after the interrogation of another Maoist leader, Subhashree Ponda alias Mili Ponda, who was arrested in Orissa on January 2010.
Mili is married to dreaded Maoist, Sabyaschi Ponda. Sabyaschi has been accused of killing 38 Greyhound commandos in Andhra Pradesh and the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, in Kandhamal.
Inspector General (Surat Range), A K Singh, told HT that though Mahapatra does not seem to be directly involved in the Maoist brand of violence, he may be part of the larger conspiracy. “The arrest is extremely significant,” Singh said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, K M Polra, said Mahapatra was staying in Jaganathnagar in Pandesara, Surat. A native of Ganjam district in Orissa, he had made Surat his home at least 10 years ago.
Mahapatra was produced in a local court on Tuesday and has been remanded in police custody for 10 days.