A Maoist leader, said to be the successor of slain rebel chieftain Kishenji, and four of his aides were arrested from various parts of this West Bengal capital in a daylong operation, police said on Thursday. A court has sent them to police custody till March 13.
"Rama Krishna alias RK, a mechanical engineer and chief of the (banned) Communist Party of India-Maoist's Central Technical Committee who hails from Andhra Pradesh and is known to have succeeded Kishenji and four other Maoists were sent to custody of Kolkata Police till March 13," chief police prosecutor SC Gupta said.
RK as well as Sukumar Mandal, Bapi Mudi, Sambhu Patra and Dipak Kumar were presented before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S. Bandyopadhyay under tight security.
The Special Task Force (STF) of the Kolkata Police along with Greyhounds, an elite commando force of Andhra Pradesh, nabbed the extremists from various parts of the city.
An arms building workshop was busted and blueprints and several key components for building a rocket launcher, explosives, Rs 2.5 lakh and several rounds of live ammunition were seized in the process.
While RK and Dipak were arrested from north Kolkata Wednesday morning, Mudi, Patra and Mandal were nabbed from North 24 Parganas' Belghoria late night following leads yielded by interrogation of the duo.
RK who supervised Maoist operations in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, took over the reins in West Bengal after Kishenji alias Koteshwar Rao was killed by security forces in a gun battle Nov 14 last year, Gupta said.
An STF officer said RK, who had led the Maoists in the first-ever direct talks with the government in 2004, and Dipak were prize catches and it was a big setback for the Maoists in West Bengal who are already on the backfoot after Kishenji's death.
His wife Padma, who carried a prize of Rs.2 lakh on her head, was arrested in Odisha's Koraput in 2010.
The Andhra and the Odisha Police have been on the lookout for Rama Krishna who is also the secretary for Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee.