The banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) had set up a base in Mumbai to spread its ideology and establish a connection with the youth, a chargesheet filed by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has revealed.
A reading library, in the slums along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, was allegedly set up for this purpose.
A witness, whose testimony is part of the chargesheet filed by the ATS against Naxal leader Surya Devra Prabhakar, has revealed this to the police.
Prabhakar, a member of the politburo of CPI (Maoists), was arrested from Kanjur by the ATS on January 19. Prabhakar was a member of Maharashtra State Committee of the CPI (Maoists). He allegedly controlled operations for Dahanu, Wada, Palghar and other rural areas.
In his statement, Prabhakar said he had been working in Mumbai since 1991 and trying to lure people towards Naxal ideology. “He used to preach his ideology before a group of people at the library,” the witness said.
According to the witness, Prabhakar used to visit the slums and befriend residents by offering to help them pay their bills. He would also use the opportunity to propagate the Naxal ideology. Prabhakar also spoke of the Naxal struggle and activities of the erstwhile People’s War Group, the witness said.
When HT visited the library, it was found locked and locals refused to speak about it.