In a major breakthrough, the city police on Tuesday evening arrested a top Maoist leader and three other naxalites, wanted for serious crimes at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism along with his supporters 50 years ago.
The Commissioner of Police SPS Yadav said that the suspected Maoist leader has been identified as Murali alias Ashok Satya Reddy, chief of North Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat and Rajnandgaon division while others are: Arun Pareira of Bandra in Mumbai, Dhanendra Bhurle and Naresh Bansod of Gondia. Of them, Pareira is the chief of communication and propaganda of the ultra-left wing.
For the naxalites of CPI (Maoists), who are yet to recover from the shock caused by the arrest of its politburo member, Narayan Sanyal last year from Raipur and Markam Gopanna, the secretary of North Bastar division in Chhattisgarh on May 4 near Raipur, Murali’s arrest was being regarded as yet another jolt to the outfit.
According to the city police, the CPI (Maoist) had convened a special meeting at Deekshabhoomi on Tuesday with a view to plan subversive activities at Nagpur. The senior Naxalite leader was also entrusted the job to spread naxalism in Nagpur and its surrounding area recently and hence the meeting. Acting on a tip off, police laid a trap around Deekshabhoomi premises. As soon as the four naxalites emerged out of the main gate after the meeting, the police intercepted and arrested them. Police recovered arms, including a revolver, naxalite literature and a mobile from them.
A police team had rushed to Mumbai and raided the residence of Pareira at Bandra (W) last evening. Search operations are still on there.
Murali, top-ranked naxalite has been working in Gadchiroli and its neighbouring areas for the last one decade. He was responsible for triggering a landmine blast in Salekasa of Gondia, killing two PSI and five policemen on the spot in 2005. Moreover, it was suspected that he was mastermind to kill of Madhya Pradesh Transport minister, Likhiram Kawre in Balaghat, a few years ago.
Yadav claimed that documents seized from that revealed that they were planning to instigate people for launching an agitation on farmers suicide and a movement on the line of Nandigram to oppose SEZ in Nagpur. The city police came to conclusion after interrogation that Murali was behind to instigate dalits I the region on Khairlanji that led to violence and arson in several parts in the state.
The arrested Maoists also provided vital clues during the intensive interrogations. A five-member team from AP police has already reached Nagpur to interrogate them further while police teams from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are coming tomorrow.
The naxalite Murali married to one Ranjita, a dalam (squad) commandant of Kobrameda in Gadchiroli in 2002. Ranjita remarried Murali after her husband, Tulshiram Madavi, another dalam commander, was killed by naxalites when he surrendered before the police to lead a peaceful life in 2002. It was said that Murali was instrumental for the killing of Tulshiram and later he married Ranjita and promoted her as the dalam commander.
The city police booked all the four under 10, 13 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities prevention Act, 1969 and 353 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. They were produced before the local court and got police remand till May 16.