The seven Maoists arrested in the past three weeks from different parts of the state, “are members of a terrorist organisation” and are “helping terrorist groups”. That’s what the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) told the court while seeking police custody of Daula Dengle, 36, an alleged Maoist arrested on May 13.
When HT asked public prosecutor Rohini Salian, who appeared for the ATS before magistrate Sanjshri Gharat at the 15th court, Mazgaon, if the ATS was referring to Maoists as a terrorist group or whether she meant that they (the Maoists) were assisting terror groups banned by the Centre, she said, “They were recruiting people. We also want to find out the source of their funding. We don’t want to comment on investigation at this point.”
Additional director general (ATS) Rakesh Maria said Dengle was arrested from Pune. “He worked as a fitter with the Pune Municipal Corporation and is an important functionary of the Golden Corridor Committee [of the CPI (Maoists],” Maria told HT.
The Golden Corridor committee refers to the area that includes Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat and Mumbai, Thane and Pune in Maharashtra. The committee was being headed by Angela Sontakke who was arrested by the ATS on April 25 from Thane.
The ATS then arrested Sushma Ramtekke from Pune. The ATS then arrested Mayuri Bhagat alias Jenny, 23, and Jyoti Chorghe, 19, on April 27 and on the basis of information gathered from them the agency arrested Anuradha Sonone, 23, from Pune and Siddharth Bhosale, 24, from Chandwad near Nashik.
Dengle was the last to be arrested based on the information provided by the other Maoists.
On Monday, while the ATS sought custody of Dengle, it asked the other six alleged Maoists be sent to jail as it did not require custody of them for further investigation. Dengle will be in custody til May 26.