Maoist leader produced in Theni court, sent to Madurai prison

THENI/CHENNAI: J Vivek alias Balan (46), the state leader of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) was produced in the judicial magistrate court, Theni and sent to the central prison in Madurai. Vivek, who was arrested in Chennai on Saturday, was brought to Theni amidst tight security in the wee hours of Sunday. Escorted by armed policemen, the ‘Q’ branch sleuths took him to the special wing’s office in Theni.

Vivek was supposed to be produced in the judicial magistrate court in Periyakulam in connection with a case accusing him of providing arms training to recruits from the region in 2007 in the forests of Theni and Dindigul districts. Since the magistrate in the Periyakulam court was not available, he was produced before the combined judicial magistrate court at Lakshmipuram. Judge Rajkumar remanded Vivek in judicial custody till June 1.

Even as he was brought out of the court, Vivek raised slogans supporting the Maoist party and accusing the police of foisting cases against him.

Vivek was also accused of attempting to set up Maoist bases in Murugamalai in Theni and Uthangarai in Dharmapuri district in 2004 itself. When police stormed the suspected hideout in Vadakavunchi forests in Dindigul in 2008, Vivek had managed to flee and was believed to have shifted his base to Maoist-controlled areas in northern states. However, the Periyakulam court had issued a warrant against Vivek.

On a specific tip off, he was arrested in Chennai on Saturday, though his accomplice Padma managed to escape from the police.

Since interrogating the arrested Maoist functionary might yield information on the plans of the banned outfit, identity of other functionaries and their hideouts if any in Tamil Nadu, the police are trying to take him into their custody.

In Chennai, police said that the ‘Q’ branch sleuths had nabbed Vivek when he came to attend an engagement ceremony of one of his relatives in Triplicane, two days before he was caught by the police.

Vivek was staying at an apartment complex provided by his relatives along with his accomplice and wife Padma alias Sathyamary (37) after attending the engagement ceremony on May 17, when ‘Q’ branch police rounded him up.

“A few of his relatives knew that he was closely associated with the banned outfit for several years, but did not reveal about his operations as this would spoil the reputation of the family,” said a police officer. He mingled freely with all his relatives but kept away from posing for any photographs with them as he thought this would put him in trouble.

Meanwhile, police have formed three special teams to apprehend Padma. The special teams have been sent to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other border districts, sources said.

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