The arrest of Angela Sontakke, secretary of the Golden Corridor committee and the Western Region Area Committee, was imminent ever since the state police intelligence learnt of a meeting held in Pune in November-December 2010.
An alarm had been sounded about her presence in the urban area and the police was on the lookout for her ever since.
The anti-naxal operations (ANO), Gondia police and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), had rounded up and arrested nine prominent naxal figures between December 26 and January 6.
The arrests also included that of Mumbai’s Byculla resident, Sunil Dhawle, who was arrested on January 2 while he was returning from Wardha after delivering a lecture.
Sources say one of the nine suspected naxals had told them about a meeting that had taken place in Pune a few days before, so the police zeroed in on all those present at the meeting.
“Though the arrest of Sontakke may not be directly linked to the previous nine arrests, at least two of those present at the meeting had broken down and spilled the information about Sontakke’s movements,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
He said the agencies were keeping tabs on Sontakke. The information of her presence in Thane could also have been leaked by one of those questioned by police, the officer said.
On April 25, ATS teams went in private vehicles to Thane after hearing that Sontakke was likely to come there. Once identified, the ATS team swooped down on her and arrested her.
Sources say that Sontakke was last spotted in early 2008 near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The agencies had, however, failed to track her down then.
“She maintained a high level of secrecy which can be gauged by the number of aliases she had,” the officer said.
Rakesh Maria, additional director general of police (ATS), said teams from Gondia, Gadhchiroli, Nagpur and the ANO were in city to question her.
Sontakke was the secretary of ‘Golden Corridor Committee’, formed in February 2008 to spread Naxal ideology among students and labourers.