Arrested trade unionist is Maoist chief in Delhi, claims police

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 20:30

New Delhi: A trade union leader, arrested
in the capital during investigations into Maoist network, was
the Delhi chief of proscribed CPI (Maoist) who was looking
after party operations here, police sources said on Wednesday.

Gopal Mishra, leader of little known trade union
`Mehnathkush Mazdoor Morcha`, was placed under arrest on
Monday while his wife Anjali was arrested by Delhi Police`s
Special Cell yesterday, the sources said.
An NGO Committee for the Release of Political
Prisoners (CRPP) claimed two more persons -- a trade unionist
Pradeep and an unknown man -- were "illegally" detained early
this week. There was no word about these two persons.

An investigator said Mishra was the Delhi chief of the
Maoists looking after its day-to-day operations besides
planning activities. No official was ready to come on record
about the progress of investigations into the case.

Mishra used to conduct meetings of leaders of the
party near his Ramnagar house in east Delhi, the sources said,
adding they were verifying the names of those who attended
such meetings.

"He is the main man for the party in Delhi. He
controls the operations in the capital," a senior police
official said. Sources said he was the commander of the Sub
Zonal Committee for the national capital.

Investigators are conducting searches in several
places of the capital.

Asked about the arrest of Mishra`s wife Anjali,
sources said she used to attend party meetings and record
minutes. Documents were also seized from their rented
accomodation, they said.
The couple were produced before Chief Metropolitan
Magistrate Kaveri Baweja on separate days and were sent to
police custody till May two. They were charged under Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act.

Sources said the couple was "one of the fronts" for
the ultra Left to set up a base in the city.

Mishra, a graduate, was an active member of CPI
(Maoist) and was tasked with organising unorganised labourers
under a trade union, sources said, adding he has been working
in Delhi for the past 18 months. Besides his trade union work,
he used to work for NGO projects also.

He had also met Kobad Ghandy before the latter`s
arrest in Delhi and was in close touch with him. Ghandy was
looking after the sub-committee which was trying to increase
Maoist influence in urban areas.

The CRPP had yesterday alleged that Mishra was taken
into custody on April 25 from his residence in Ramnagar and
his wife was picked up a day later but their arrests were
shown after the stipulated time. Police denied the claims.

The CRPP claimed that Mishra was taken into custody on
April 25 from his residence in Ramnagar in east Delhi and his
wife was picked up yesterday.

It quoted Ritesh Kumar, the owner of the house in
which Mishra was staying as a tenant, as saying that police
reached the residence along with Mishra at 11 AM on Monday and
waited till evening for his wife Anu to return.

"The house owner was later told by the police that
they were taking him to the police station. Later, it became
clear that along with Mishra another trade unionist Pradeep
was also taken away by the police," a CRPF officer said.

After Ghandy, this is the third arrest of a Maoist
leader in the capital in the past six months. Ghandy was
arrested in September last year while Krishna Rao, another
suspected Maoist, was apprehended last month.

On April four, Sunil Mandiwal, an assistant professor
with Delhi University`s Dayal Singh College, was detained for
his suspected links with Maoists, including arrested leader
Khobad Ghandy. He was released after questioning.

Police sources had earlier said during investigations
into the Maoist network in the capital it came to light that
the extremists were infiltrating into trade unions in the
city.

They had an active trade union in Okhla Industrial
area. The Maoists were also targeting displaced labourers and
bringing them under their fold, they said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 20:30

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