Raipur: With a strong urban network of Maoists resurfacing in the cities of Chhattisgarh, capital Raipur has emerged as a key centre for supply of logistics like clothes, arms and ammunition.
More than the attacks in forests, what has left the police baffled are a couple of recent incidents where arms and ammunition were found in Raipur and its adjoining cities.
The arrest of three Maoist couriers, who were allegedly handling the urban operations of Naxals, along with ammunition two days back in the district has once again set the alarm bell ringing for the Raipur Police.
"Close vigil is being kept to trace every suspected movement in and around Raipur. We have certain inputs of assistance being provided to the rebels from town areas and we are taking appropriate action on that," Raipur Superintendent of Police OP Pal told a news agency.
The arrest is likely to unfold more information about the Maoist conduit operating in city area as their questioning has led to nabbing of two other Naxals from Bhanupratappur in Kanker who were working for urban module, he said.
The fresh arrest also revealed that Maoist arms couriers are not only using four-wheelers but also motorcycles to carry small consignments of ammunition and other commodities for the Reds in their stronghold Bastar.
"The consignment was being supplied on a motorcycle and no doubt they have done it earlier several times," the SP said.
For the first time a major Naxal urban network was busted in 2008 with the arrest of eight persons, including a journalist Prafulla Jha, and a huge cache of arms and ammunition, electronic gadgets and uniforms were seized from Danganiya of Raipur and Bilaspur, police sources said.
Since 2012 there has been a rise in cases of seizure of arms and ammunition from the city.
In June 2012, police arrested two Naxal associates - Sheikh Mujeeb and Anjali Chouhan - from separate places in the capital and seized from them 270 rounds of AK-47 and self loading rifle, sources said.
Within two days of their arrest, Anjali`s husband ? Sheikh Anwar - and a Naxal Bablu were arrested with 160 rounds SLR rifle, which they had allegedly procured?from Andhra Pradesh-based Naxal couriers.
Further interrogation of the four revealed that the consignment was to be delivered in the forests of Rajnandgaon.
Prior to this incident, in March 2012, a joint team of three states - Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal ? had raided godown of a transport company in Raipur and seized 79 boxes of raw material for making rocket launchers and mortars meant for Maoists, the sources said.
Surprisingly, the consignment was lying in the godown of a transport company in the city for several months and was allegedly to be delivered in Bastar, but police swung into action after getting information from other states.
More recently, in August last year, police arrested two persons who were transporting explosives and material used to make bomb in their SUV in Raipur`s Shankar Nagar area.
As many as 32 pieces of detonators, oxygen cylinder, cooking gas cylinder, copper wires, 10 dynamites rod, small nut bolts, battery, torches, DVD, CD along with some documents meant for Naxals were seized from their vehicle, sources said.
Although police have achieved success in busting the urban chains of Maoists, they are yet to ascertain the origin of the recovered arms, ammunition and explosives.
"Though we have got certain clues about the supply of arms and ammunition from West Bengal and Mumbai, we have not been able to trace their exact origin," a senior intelligence official said, on condition of anonymity.
"There is much possibility of couriers being changed four to five times for supplying a single consignment in order to conceal the exact source of weapons and bullets and other commodities," he said.
Their (Naxals) urban network is the bedrock on which their success in forests and rural areas has been built. This network has been supplying all logistics, right from clothes to arms and ammunition, he pointed out.