CHANDRAPUR: A joint team of anti-naxal operations cell and C-60 commandos arrested hardcore Naxalite Maroti Kurwatkar (30) in Talodhi village on Saturday. Second in command of Maharashtra state committee of CPI (Maoist) and Chandrapur Area Committee’s chief, Kurwatkar was wanted in Naxal related offences.
SP Suvez Haque termed Kurwatkar’s arrest as a big catch and a major setback to political wing of Naxal setup.
“He is key member of the state committee of CPI (Maoist) that plans the operations and strategy for the military wing of Naxalites operating in Gadchiroli and Gondia. A native of village Temburwahi, Kurwatkar is a graduate and speaks fluent English, along with Hindi and Marathi. He has been involved in Naxal activities since 2004. He rose quickly among the ranks of political wing of Naxalites in state and assumed the status of second in command of state committee after the arrest of Bhimrao alias Bhanu Bhowte,” he said. He held that it takes years of grooming to prepare the cadre of Kurwatkar’s calibre, hence his arrest means a lot for police department.
“We had a intelligence of his arrival in particular area and a trap was laid. He came pillion on a motorbike after taking lift from some passerby towards Talodhi. Our men followed him for five km to Talodhi. As soon as he disembarked from the bike at bus stop, lurking cops pounced at him. After a chase and hustle, he was nabbed by a five-member team,” said Haque.
He said that they had information that Kurwatkar might be carrying a firearm, however their apprehension proved unfounded. Accused Kurwatkar was immediately brought to Chandrapur and his identification was verified. On at least three instances previously, cops had intelligence of his arrival in same area, but their attempts earlier to nab him had failed.
Haque claimed that Kurwatkar was involved in anti-national activities with Deshbhakti Yuva Mach and Vidyarthi Pragati Sanghatna, which are engaged in luring college students to Naxal movement. After these organizations were busted in early 2008, he disappeared from the district. Later, Kurwatkar was given charge of Bramhapuri sub area, where he acted as courier carrying supplies in Gadchiroli.
After key members of Naxal cadre were arrested, he was given charge of Chandrapur area committee of CPI (Maoist). He had fled from Sindewahi, where a Naxal den was busted and a laptop and over Rs 3 lakh was recovered last year following the arrest of accused Bhanu Bhowte in Gondia. He was also involved in an offence related to pasting of Naxal pamphlets in Bramhapuri and Rajura.
Cops have seized some important documents, which could give clues about his aides and his current activities in this area. But SP refrained giving detail of material recovered from him.