CPI (Maoist) Extends its Reach into Gujurat
Posted by Ka Frank on January 25, 2010
This article was published in DNA India on January 22, 2010.
Red terror in Gujarat?
Ahmedabad/ Mumbai: Gujarat can be sitting on a potential Naxal-Maoist terror time-bomb. The Red forces are likely to have penetrated not just the tribal areas of South Gujarat but they seem to be striking roots in the simmering discontent among the diamond and power-loom workers.
The Wednesday arrest of Surya Devra Prabhakar, 60, the alleged in-charge of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh Naxal operations, by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has revealed that Reds are at work to set up a base in the state. Surya had been living in Mumbai but kept shifting to different places to avoid detection. According to reports, sustained interrogation of Prabhakar has revealed that he was a senior Naxalite responsible for drafting policies to recruit “young blood” in the Naxal movement.
During interrogation, he reportedly admitted to spreading Naxal ideology among youths in the age group of 21 and 35. “He would instruct them in Left ideology and brainwash them,” a senior official of the Mumbai ATS said on condition of anonymity. Sources said that Prabhakar had been trying to recruit the workers of the unorganised sector, mainly diamond workers. Sources said he was active in the tribal belt of South Gujarat and had established contact with the powerloom workers of Gujarat. But the exact extent of his activities is still not being revealed by the Gujarat police or the Maharashtra police.
Sources said that he had organised many meetings with the target groups, most of which were apparently held around his residence in Kanjurmarg, Mumbai, or in the colleges of the city. Prabhakar always kept a low profile, the ATS sources said.
Senior officials of the Mumbai ATS said that Prabhakar was working in tandem with Kobad Ghandy, another Naxalite who was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police last year. There seems to be a strong prima facie link between Ghandy and Prabhakar, the sources said. “The two worked as part of the same team and were constantly in touch with each other,” said an ATS officer.
Prabhakar had been staying with a person named Pandit who is an interior decorator. Pandit also runs a library with his friends. He takes tuition classes and also translates books, particularly from Telugu to English and Hindi. “Claiming that his name was Manoj, Prabhakar told Pandit that he did not have a family, and asked for shelter,” said the officer.
A commerce graduate from Andhra Pradesh, Prabhakar left his hometown in Warangal 30 years ago. Initially, Prabhakar told the police that he was no longer associated with Naxalites and that he had retired three years ago, after handing over his resignation to Anuradha, the late wife of Ghandy. Senior ATS officials said Prabhakar’s name had first cropped up during the interrogation of Shrinivasan and Vernon Gonsalves, both of who allegedly owed allegiance to the CPI (M). The two were arrested by the ATS in 2007.
Prabhakar, however, could not be caught as he kept shifting base between Vasai, Mira Road, Mankhurd and Ambernath — all in Mumbai. While arresting Prabhakar, ATS officials seized a bag full of leftwing literature published by the CPI (Maoist) and the People’s War Group (PWG). Both the organisations have been banned by the Indian government. A computer’s CPU, a pen drive and a mobile phone were also recovered from Prabhakar, the sources in Mumbai ATS said.