Top Maoist leader Kanchan, five others arrested

In a severe blow to the Maoists, a top leader of the ultras and four others were arrested from the metropolis and neighbouring Howrah district, while another naxal who had taken part in the attack on an EFR camp at Silda was nabbed from West Midnapore district.

Kolkata: In a severe blow to the Maoists, a
top leader of the ultras and four others were arrested from
the metropolis and neighbouring Howrah district, while another
naxal who had taken part in the attack on an EFR camp at Silda
was nabbed from West Midnapore district.

Kanchan alias Sudip Chongdar, a central committee member
who had planned the Lalgarh movement in 2008 and second only
to Kishenji was arrested from Maidan area of the metropolis by
the Special Task Force of the police yesterday, STF chief
Rajiv Kumar told reporters today.
Kanchan a think tank and `state secretary` of the ultras,
was wanted for sedition. He had been elevated as `state
secretary` after the arrest of Somen alias Himadri Sen Roy
from a railway station in North 24 Parganas in February 2008.

A resident of Garbeta in West Midnapore, Kanchan had been
arrested earlier, but was released after spending about two
years in jail.

Arrested together with Kanchan were state committee
members Anil Ghosh alias Ajay, Barun Sur alias Bidyut and a
cadre Bimal Mallick alias Shankar, Kumar said.

STF personnel also arrested woman state committee member
Kalpana Maity alias Anu from Howrah station area, he said.

Initial interrogation revealed that Ghosh was a resident
of Regent Park here, Sur was from Janipara in Hooghly
district, Anu from Chandrakona in West Midnapore and Bimal
Mallick from Ghola in North 24 Parganas district, he said.

Anu was also the wife of Akash, another Maoist leader
eluding the police dragnet for a long time. The naxal cadre,
Mallick, worked as a courier for the ultras.

A Maoist squad leader, Kajol Mahto, alleged to have taken
part in the raid on the Eastern Frontier Rifles camp at Silda
in West Midnapore district on February 15 this years that left
24 securitymen dead was also arrested from Pathartuntuni in
Salboni police station area in the district yesterday.

The STF chief said a huge quantity of new, sophisticated
foreign made communication devices, including wireless sets,
voice control devices, antennas and other modes of
communication, the operation of which was unknown to the
police, were also seized.
"Many communication devices have been seized whose
operational efficacy is still being ascertained by STF
experts," Kumar said.

The Maoists appeared to be overhauling their
communication system, damaged during operations by joint
security forces in West Midnapore district. Though no arms
were found, parts of IEDs and timer circuits were seized, he
said, adding raids were on in some areas of Howrah, Hooghly,
North and South 24 Parganas districts.

Meanwhile, Kanchan`s elder brother Nemai Chongdar, who
lives at Garbeta in West Midnapore district said, "We have no
idea what he was doing ever since he left home about four
years ago.

"We don`t support Maoism," he said in reply to a question
on a private TV channel.

"He once started a business but that was many years ago.
The last time he visited home was about four years ago," he
said.

Some villagers at Garbeta, interviewed by the private TV
channel said, "It was good that Kanchan had been arrested...
We don`t approve of the Maoists` politics of violence and
murder."

PTI