Nagpur, Aug. 24: A Jawaharlal Nehru University student was arrested in Gadchiroli on Thursday for alleged links with Maoists, police revealed today.
Hem Mishra, 32, and two others arrested with him were remanded in 10-day police custody by a local court in the Maharashtra district on the border with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
A police statement said Mishra was arrested with Mahesh Tirki, 24, and Pandu Narote, 27 — both residents of Morewada village in Etapalli tehsil — from the bus stand at Aheri in south Gadchiroli.
Tirki, the police said, has admitted he works as a courier for Narmadakka, a top leader of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoists).
“He (Mishra) was moving in Aheri-Etapalli area for two-three days,” deputy inspector general of police (Gadchiroli range) Ravindra Kadam told The Telegraph. “We have found some incriminating things from them.”
Another senior police officer said an encrypted microchip was allegedly found embedded in Mishra’s visiting card and is most likely to contain information for the Maoists.
The son of a retired schoolteacher from Kunbargal village in Almora district of Uttarakhand, Mishra is enrolled for a BA course in Chinese at JNU’s School of Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies. He holds a diploma in mass communication and a BSc degree in mathematics from Uttarakhand.
A district police statement said, among other things, they had found a “microchip” and some confidential Maoist documents allegedly meant to be handed over to Narmadakka.
The JNU student’s arrest has caused shock among his friends. His Facebook page was abuzz with comments from friends calling for his release.
Mishra’s friends describe him as a cultural activist and singer; an active member of the radical Left group, Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), and the Revolutionary Cultural Front on the JNU campus and an executive member of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners.
For some years, he has been struggling with a medical problem in his left hand for which, his friends said, he had undergone repeated surgeries in Vellore.