Koraput, Feb 1 :
Senior Maoist cadre T Anil Kumar alias ‘Chandu’, a most wanted Maoist carrying a reward of Rs 20 lakh on his head each in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, has been arrested ‘without a shot being fired’, Koraput SP Awinash Kumar said here on Saturday.
The 40-year-old Anil Kumar, the second-in-command of the Andhra-Odisha-Border-State Zonal Committee was arrested from Tala Paniki forests by the Special Operation Group (SOG), Kumar said.
However, there are conflicting reports that he was nabbed two days ago and also that he had surrendered to the police ‘to return to the mainstream’.
However, the Koraput SP said they launched a raid after they were tipped off about a Maoist group’s presence in Tala Paniki forest and managed to capture Chandu without any exchange of fire. The others managed to escape, he said.
Police suspect he took part in several major violent incidents including attacks on the Koraput armoury in 2004, Nalco mines at Damanjodi in 2009 and on a BSF convoy near Pottangi in August last year which killed 4 jawans.
The SP said that Chandu was in charge of collecting intelligence for the Malkangiri division, Koraput-Srikakulam division and East-Visakha division of the outlawed party.
He had joined the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh in 1996 and was promoted to area committee member in 2001.
Police sources said that during interrogation, he expressed a desire to return to the mainstream which they said would be conveyed to the top bosses in the government.
The Maoist leader operated in Koraput and Malkangiri in Odisha and Vishakapatnam rural and Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, police sources said.
Chandu had joined the Maoist party in Andhra Pradesh in 1996 and was promoted as an area committee member in 2001. In 2003, he was elevated as divisional committee member and worked with the Kondabaridi Dalam of Koraput-Srikakulam division till 2009.
Police sources said, his wife, Sandhya alias Devi Padiami, was working in Koraput division in Narayanpatna area as ‘Divisional Committee Member’ and also ‘in-charge’ of Nandapur Area Committee of the Maoists.
Earlier, on Friday, Maoists had threatened to launch ‘retaliatory action’ if Chandu, a ‘most wanted’ Maoist who they suspected was being held captive by Odisha police, was not produced in the court immediately.
Talking to OST over phone on Friday afternoon, Jagabandhu, spokesperson for the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) had said Chandu, a native of Prakasham district in Andhra Pradesh, had gone to a place in Nabarangpur district on January 24 and had gone missing since the next day.
“We had last talked to him on January 25, a day after he left. Since then, his mobile has been switched off. Since we had instructed him to switch off the mobile if he sees any danger, we suspect that he may have been taken captive by Nabarangour police. If that is the case, they must produce him in a court immediately. If they don’t, we will launch retaliatory action,” Jagabandhu had said.