THE POLICE on Friday found it tough to extract information from the six Naxalite suspects held in the City on Thursday during raids on a factory clandestinely manufacturing components of arms used by Maoists.
In continuing raids, the police recovered more ammunition, weaponry and Naxalite literature. A number of teams comprising men from various investigative agencies - including the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Special Branch, local intelligence and the district police - are interrogating the six people, which includes a woman.
The arrested persons belong to south India, most being from Andhra Pradesh. At least one is a senior member in the organisational hierarchy of Naxalites. They have not revealed anything and kept changing statements, said the interrogators.
Che Guevara is their hero. They are indoctrinated into Naxalism and are voracious readers of ultra-left literature in many languages. They are so committed that even after intensive grilling sessions, the investigators are not sure about their real names or identity.
“Kill me,” one of those arrested dares police officers. He says he hails from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and has an ailing mother back home, but nothing is closer to his heart than the Red Revolution.
The officials term him as a ‘prize catch’ who, they say, must be quite high in the Naxalites’ organisational hierarchy. “He is a commerce graduate, a firm believer in the cause and ideologically impenetrable,” says a senior officer.
“His father died long ago and his mother has nobody to take care of her, but he says that he is deeply committed to
ideology and had years of intensive training in guerrilla warfare,” adds the officer.
He reportedly admitted that for the past two years he had been living in Bhopal. Asked about the route of money and the places to which the arms were sent, there was no answer from any of them.
They do accept that their cell was given a ‘task’, which couldn’t be revealed. “We were experimenting bomb and other weapon-making,” says Madhu, who has several aliases, but the police are unsure about his real name. “The Andhra police are expected soon and we are hopeful that they will be able to identify these persons apart from ascertaining their position in the organisation.”
Apart from Che Guevara, books on Mao, Lenin and other revolutionaries have been seized from their houses. Rare books on advanced weaponry have also been found.
One of the accused had tried to snatch the gun from a police official who was in the raiding party on Thursday and tried to fire but was overpowered.
Officials admit that the Red militants apparently made Bhopal home because they felt it to be ‘comparatively safe’. The detained persons include Madhukumar alias Venkatesh (35), his wife Rajlaxmi alias Sonam, Ashok, Shriniwas, Raghu alias Deepak and Krishnaraju.
This is the first occasion that such a workshop has been unearthed in Madhya Pradesh. Officials say that even in other states that have been tackling Naxalites for decades no such arms workshop was unearthed though Police Headquarters has information that illegal arms factory of Ranbir Sena was recovered in Bihar.
The factory, running in a rented building at Satnami Nagar in Piplani area, was manufacturing components for hand grenades, guns, rocket launchers and other weapons.