In a surprising revelation, the STF (Special Task Force) and IB (Intelligence Branch) officers interrogating five arrested Maoists have learnt that the Naxal movement in Chhattisgarh is mainly controlled from various parts of the city.
“Kolkata not only provides the logistics, financial and other support to their counterparts in Chhattisgarh but it also arranges for a safe hideout for important national level leaders. As per our information, at least three to four central committee members live in the city throughout the year,” a top STF officer told Deccan Herald .
“They not only work for the organisation in the city and the state, but at the same time, they also control the movement in Chhattisgarh, which is now considered to be the heartland of the Maoist movement,” the officer said. According to the Intelligence officers, some of the most important decisions taken and executed in recent years were planned here. After the arrest of five Maoists, including chief of technical committee Sadanala Ramakrishna with the help of the elite Greyhound force of Andhra Pradesh, Special Intelligence Branch, the STF has learnt more about the underground activities of the Maoists.
When quizzed on the reason behind Maoists choosing Kolkata, a senior STF officer, said: “The Maoists’ arrests and subsequent intelligence have changed their strategy to a considerable degree. At present, they don’t get involved in looting arms and ammunition rather they prefer to manufacture their own weapons.”
“As the unorganised skilled labour sector in West Bengal is huge, Maoist are looking it as a prospective zone. They are manufacturing different components of rifle, rocket launchers, explosive devices and thus sending them to their desired destinations,” the officer said.
“Once in a safe zone, these components are rigged into proper weapons before they are distributed among the rebels. The uniqueness of this ‘system’ is that the components are sent after following all legal formalities. It is difficult to sense that these parts could be used to fabricate a full-fledged firearm,”the officer pointd out.
Acting on a tip off, the STF busted a huge arms racket in Chattisgarh on Monday. The components that were used to manufacture these weapons were stored in a warehouse. Besides, huge quantities of spare partsand other hardware, suspected to be components for rocket launchers, were seized from the godown of a transport agent.
STF sources said that the similar raids were being conducted in Raipur. None was arrested.
In the last four days, police raided different areas of the city, mainly Howrah—the breeding ground for unorganised skilled labour, and the periphery of Dum Dum Airport, and recovered cash worth Rs 91 lakh, incriminating documents, diagrams of rocket launchers, different kinds of rifles, pen drive and CDs.
According to an STF source, Ramakrishna had bought a flat at Birati near airport nearly a year ago. More than six consignments were sent from here to various places.
When asked whether all the documents were marked for Chhattisgarh, the officer said: “That cannot be said right now. More raids are being carried out, and once more arrests are made only then can we say where these components were despatched”.
Asked about the source of the money, the officer said: “It might have been collected from the Kolkata circle or was sanctioned by the Maoists’ central committee for the procurement, manufacturing and upgradation of the arsenal.”