Hunt on for more Maoists in hiding

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ branch police, who arrested 13 people including a key Maoist leader from a school in Kundrathur on Saturday, are hunting for more in this connection. From three of the arrested, including CPI (Maoist) leader S Duraisinghvelu, 51, his associates Baskaran and Palani alias Manickam, and Velu’s wife Ragini, 45, police learnt that they were trying to indoctrinate unemployed rural youth.

Police said Duraisinghvelu was undergoing arms training at a mango grove near Uthangarai in Krishnagiri district in 2002 when police swooped on them. After a gun battle in which Velu’s brother Parthiban was killed, police cornered around 23 Maoists, including Velu. A senior intelligence officer said some of those who managed to escape after the battle at Uthangarai, including a woman activist named Bharathi, began recruitment.

An officer said the Maoists who roam around rural areas to identify potential cadres. They would help the poor before spreading Maoist ideologies. Police teams have been formed to trace Maoists who are now secretly operating in the state and trying to complicate the law and order situation. ‘Q’ branch sleuths plan to take three of the arrested on Saturday under their custody to extract more information about their future plans and strategies.

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