A joint Andhra Pradesh and Delhi police team arrested Kobad Ghandy, 60, on Sunday, the highest ranking Maoist to have been held so far.
He was captured from Bhikaji Cama Place in south Delhi.
He is a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) politburo and associated with the Naxalite movement for the last three decades.
Ghandy grew up in Mumbai in an upper middle class Parsi family. He studied chartered accountancy in London before joining the movement, was a senior ideologue and recruiter for the organisation.
“He was based in Delhi for quite some time,” said Jharkhand’s Director General of Police Vishnu Dayal Ram.
Ghandy began his revolutionary career in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra in the late 1970s.
“Influenced by the Naxalbari movement and Dalit Panthers group in Mumbai, Ghandy formed a study group and published several revolutionary writings,” said poet Warhara Rao, who worked with him in a civil right organisation.
At present, Ghandy headed the publications division of the party, police said.
Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji, second-in-command of the outlawed organisation’s central committee, confirmed Ghandy’s arrest. “It will be a major setback,” he admitted.
Ghandy’s wife, Anuradha, who died last year, was also a Maoist and the only woman in the party’s central committee.
The Maoists wield considerable influence in 180 of India’s 610 districts.