Maoist Deepak a Balaji devotee | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Maoist Deepak a Balaji devotee

kolkata Updated: Mar 08, 2010 11:25 IST
Surbek Biswas

He may be a hardcore Maoist, but arrested rebel leader Telugu Deepak has deep faith in blessings of Balaji or Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati. The religious side of Deepak came to light during his interrogation by the Greyhound force of Andhra Pradesh police at Bhabani Bhavan in Kolkata.

His belief runs counter to the Communist philosophy. Sleuths have come to know that Deepak’s original name — Venkateswara Reddy — was given by his parents after Lord Venkateswara, as is common in Andhra Pradesh where he hails from. When a member of the Greyhound, a special anti-naxal force raised in Andhra Pradesh, took the name of Balaji, Deepak immediately touched his right ear with his right hand. This is a typical reverential response of a devout, who have faith in Balaji.

Investigators claimed Deepak did not try to hide his belief.

Being treated as a high profile political prisoner, Deepak is not being given third degree treatment or tortured. Besides, he is also being given his favourite South Indian dishes, Idlis and Sambhar fetched from a food joint in Alipore. He is also being served rice, dal and vegetables and given branded drinking water, to avoid water contamination.

Interrogation is being carried at a senior CID officials’ chamber or at the central lock up. The grilling goes on for maximum of two hours at a stretch and a brief rest after that. Sources said that some officers want him to undergo narco-analysis test.

A senior CID officer told Hindustan Times, “Deepak divulged some militant activities. We have confirmed some of our findings by his statements. So far, he has, refused to divulge anything on his outfit’s future plans, or membership or links in Kolkata. He maintains that he would not say anything that would harm his party. In fact, he even said, ‘Kill me.’ We cannot pressurise him physically and have to depend on his statements and some documents that we have already got.”

The CID missed Deepak by a whisker in the third week of January at Behala in West Kolkata. Two CID sleuths got into a bus in which Deepak was traveling at Raichak, 50 kms from Kolkata, following a tip off that a Maoist had arrived in a launch from Haldia and would be on the last private bus on the Raichak-Esplanade (in Central Kolkata) route.

The detectives, who did not recognize Deepak but when the bus reached near Behala Chowrasta, they spotted a person getting off the bus and jostling his way through the crowd. According to sources, he spoke Bengali with typical South Indian accent. The back up CID team was only few kms behind, when Deepak merged with the crowd and escaped.

The two sleuths however in the team that arrested Deepak on Tuesday. This time there was no mistake.