Two days after it announced the arrest of a woman naxal leader and her aide, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested four more operatives actively involved in ferrying messages and equipment for Maoists.
Rakesh Maria, additional director general of police (ATS), said Mayuri Bhagat alias Jenny, 23, and Jyoti Chorghe, 19, were arrested near Mahanagar Palika bus stop in Pune at 11.15 pm on April 27.
On the basis of information gathered from them, ATS arrested Anuradha Sonone, 23, from Pune and Siddharth Bhosale, 24, from Chandwad near Nashik.
“They were all members of a new committee called Western Region Area Committee and reported to Angela Sontakke, who was arrested on April 25,” Maria said, adding that Sontakke was secretary of the committee.
He said Bhagat is an arts graduate while Chorghe has studied till Class 12.
Bhagat, originally a resident of Chandrapur, was living in Pune. The ATS recovered Rs 1.9 lakh from them apart from naxal literature, seven mobile phones, several PAN cards and SIM cards.
Bhosale, a resident of Kondhwa in Pune, has done MA in economics.
He said Sonone and Chorghe were living in a flat at Bhonsari in Pune. Maria said the committee was involved in spreading naxal ideology in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik. “These are not sympathisers. They were actively involved in naxal activities and in passing messages, acting as couriers and spreading the ideology,” Maria said.
“This group has made a concerted and systematic effort to spread its wings in urban areas,” Maria added. He said the arrested members maintained a high level of secrecy. “Bhagat has worked at several places but she never stayed at any place for a long time. In fact, at one of the jobs, she quit soon after her picture was taken,” Maria said.
All the accused have been remanded in police custody till May 3.