Maoist leader held but his wife gives cops the slip

CHENNAI: Hardly 10 days after the Centre warned of Maoists spreading their network to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, the ‘Q’ branch of the state police on Saturday arrested a suspected Maoist from Shenoy Nagar in the city.

Police sources said Vivek alias Kumar (29) is the state secretary of the banned CPI Maoist. His wife, Padma, however, managed to escape. Vivek, who was arrested by a special team headed by ‘Q’ branch superintendent Sampath Kumar from an apartment in Shenoy Nagar, is being taken to Periyakulam in Theni, where a warrant has been put out against him, police said.

Vivek, who hails from Dindigul district, was providing arms training to Maoists in the forest areas of Periyakulam when they were surrounded in 2007, police said. In the encounter that followed, some suspected Maoists were killed, but Vivek managed to escape. There has been a lookout notice for him since then.

Vivek, a diploma holder in technical engineering and an expert in arms, had shifted base to north India, sources said. Recently, he moved to Chennai in a bid to expand the Maoist base in southern Tamil Nadu, but was arrested on Saturday.

Cops probe arrested Maoist’s plans

We suspect he came to survey the area which Maoists usually do before setting up a base. They make sure they garner support from the people and there is no police presence,” said an officer.

A probe is on to know about his specific assignment in Chennai. “We are probing the purpose of his visit to Chennai city and whether he was having any specific plans,” he said. He was active in Krishnagiri in 2004 where he met and married Padma, a comrade, sources said. The arrest comes close on the heels of the abduction and release by Maoists of Alex Paul Menon, collector of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.

Union minister of state for home affairs, Jitendra Singh, told Rajya Sabha on May 9 that Maoists were making forays into Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu under the supervision of its south west regional bureau and were planning to link up the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats through these states.
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