Arms haul: NIA to seek Naxals’ custody

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing into seizure of sophisticated arms and ammunition from senior Maoist leaders in Kolkata is all set to take custody of the five arrested Naxal leaders, including head of central technical committee, Sadanala Ramakrishna alias RK.

A team of NIA officials is camping at Kolkata and will move to the court on Monday to question the arrested Maoist leaders.

The arrests were made after a joint operation of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal Police in February during which they also seized material used in making rocket launchers and other explosives from a workshop in Beniapukur area of Kolkata.

The NIA has taken over the case on the directions of Union Home Ministry to unravel the conspiracy spread across various states and outside India. This is the first time that the NIA, set up after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, will investigate a case involving Maoists. Besides Ramakrishna, others arrested include Dipak Kumar, a resident of Durg in Chhattisgarh, Sukumar Mondal of North 24 Paraganas, Bapi Mudi of Burdwan, and Sambhu Charan Pal of Hooghly — all in West Bengal. According to police, the accused were involved in acquisition, manufacture of firearms, rocket launchers and grenades.

The senior-most member of the CPI(Maoist), Ramakrishna (62), is a qualified mechanical engineer from Regional Engineering College, Warangal. He has been associated with the CPI(Maoist) for the past four decades, and is believed to have been entrusted with carrying out Maoist activities in Bengal after the killing of politburo member Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji in November 2011.

It is alleged that the accused persons, while operating from Kolkata and neighbouring areas, supplied firearms to Maoist outfits across the country. “Subversive documents”, Maoist literature, drawings of machine parts and Rs 5 lakh in cash were seized from them at the time of the arrest, as per the police. Twenty-five pieces of six-holed metal sockets used in making rocket launchers were recovered from the Beniapukur workshop.

NIA officials said they will question the Naxal leaders to find out their linkages with any other outfit. The agency also plans to question another senior leader, Aswin Kumar Bhattacharya, arrested by Mumbai Police recently.

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