Arrested Maoist leader Kanchan and others have claimed that their leader Kishenji is leading the banned organisation in West Bengal.
"According to arrested Maoist leader Kanchan and others, Kishenji is alive and well and he is leading them in West Bengal," Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police, Special Task Force, Rajiv Kumar told newspersons in Kolkata on Sunday.
Kumar quoted Kanchan as having claimed during interrogation that Kishenji could be in Dandakaranya.
It had been rumoured that Kishenji had either been killed or seriously injured in an encounter with the police a few months ago.
In a severe blow to the Maoists, their top leader Kanchan alias Sudip Chongdar and four others had been arrested from the metropolis and the neighbouring Howrah district, Kumar had disclosed on Saturday.
Kanchan, a central committee member who had planned the Lalgarh movement in 2008, is second only to Kishenji in the Maoist hierarchy in the state.
Arrested together with Kanchan were state committee members Anil Ghosh alias Ajay, Barun Sur alias Bidyut and a cadre Bimal Mallick alias Shankar.
They were about to board a night-service bus to Jharkhand when they were nabbed, Kumar said.
STF personnel also arrested woman state committee member Kalpana Maity alias Anu from Howrah station area.
Kumar today said that Akash, another Maoist leader and husband of Anu, gave the STF the slip after learning of the arrests from television reports.
"Akash was also to come, but was probably alerted," he said.
He said that raids were still going on at four to five places.
A huge quantity of new, sophisticated foreign-made communication devices, including wireless sets, voice control devices, antennas and other modes of communication, have already been seized from their hideouts in the suburbs of the city.