Maoist operative who played key role in its Assam expansion held in Bengal: NIA
NIA said Samrat Chakraborty was associated with veteran Maoist idealogue and strategist, Arun Kumar Bhattacharjee, better known by his nom de guerre “Kanchan Da”, who was arrested by Assam Police in March this year
NEW DELHI/SILCHAR: Samrat Chakraborty, a 37-year-old Maoist operative has been arrested from West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district in connection with the banned group’s efforts to expand its base in Assam and other parts of the northeast, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Tuesday.
“The accused named Samrat Chakraborty alias Nilkamal Sikdar was arrested for his involvement in Maoist activities in Cachar district of Assam,” the agency said in a statement. He was arrested from a location near the Kalyani Expressway that runs from Kolkata to a satellite town, Kalyani, 40 km away. Chakraborty was arrested in a case registered after the arrest of veteran Maoist idealogue and strategist, Arun Kumar Bhattacharjee, better known by his nom de guerre “Kanchan Da”, by the Assam Police on March 6. NIA took over this case within a fortnight and has been following up on leads generated during his interrogation.
The NIA spokesperson said Bhattacharjee was overseeing the banned group’s efforts to spread its roots of the banned group in Assam and the northeast. On September 2, the agency filed a charge sheet in a special NIA court in Guwahati against Bhattacharjee, a central committee member of the Maoists, and five others.
“Further investigations in the case revealed that accused Samrat Chakraborty was an active member of CPI (Maoist) organisation based in West Bengal. He was a linkman in clandestine communication between the top hierarchy of CPI (Maoist) organisation and the arrested accused, Bhattacharjee, who was operating from his hideout in Assam,” the spokesperson said.
Chakraborty, a resident of North 24 Parganas, made several visits to Assam’s Cachar district to assist Bhattacharjee on specific instructions of the eastern regional bureau of the party. “There has been a lot of fund flow from Eastern Regional Bureau to further their activities in Assam. They have even set up one State Level Team (SLT) consisting of six members to achieve their desired goals,” an NIA official who didn’t want to be named said.
Bhattacharjee and his associate, Akash Orang, a member of Assam State Organising Committee of the Maoists, were arrested from Patimara Tea Garden in Cachar district’s Udharbond area.
An Assam Police officer said Samrat Chakraborty was an old hand in the CPI (Maoists) and was known to be close to Kishenji, alias Malojula Koteswar Rao, the Maoist top gun who headed the group’s eastern India operations. He was shot dead in West Bengal in 2011.
The officer said Chakraborty has been visiting Cachar district since 2016 and is known to be connected with top Maoist leaders across the country.
“After the arrest of Kanchan da in March this year, Samrat left Assam and started staying in West Bengal. Now he has been arrested and more information will come out in the interrogation,” the officer added.