The Maoists had no intention of killing West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee when they ambushed his convoy in 2008, but had hoped that the police action which followed would turn the tribals against the administration, a top arrested naxalite has said.
"If we had the intention to kill Bhattacharjee we could have killed him. We could have used a directional mine to snap the high tension line to fall on his convoy," top Maoist leader Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak, who was arrested on March 2 by the state CID, had told interrogators.
A landmine exploded on the convoy of Chief Minister and two union ministers Paswan and Jitin Prasada at Salboni in West Midnapore district on November 2, 2008.
"We wanted to police to make a mistake and crack down on the tribals, which they did. We were successful in capitalising on it to create a base for ourselves. The attack on the chief minister's convoy was a milestone in the Maoist movement in West Bengal."
The CID officer, who interrogated the Maoist leader, told PTI that the Lalgarh movement by tribals which started with the blast became an issue nationwide and compelled the the central government to rethink about Maoists.
Dipak, who is an explosive expert, had also confessed that he had learnt to make landmines from a faction of LTTE in Tamil Nadu.
Between 1987 and 1995, Dipak was sent to Tamil Nadu by the Maoist top brass for political grooming, the officer said.
He stayed in Tamil Nadu for two years and came in touch with the LTTE group which was active in that region at that time and learnt the nitty-gritties of making landmines, he said.
Later Dipak developed the lethal directional landmine.
A close aide of Maoist Politburo member Kishanji alias Koteswar Rao, Dipak is a member of the State Military Commission, West Bengal chapter, and in-charge of the armed operations in Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand.