Calcutta, June 2: The worst fears of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee turned out to be true with the discovery that the main operation base of the Maoists in Bengal is near Calcutta.
The government has intelligence inputs that Maoists were using the fringe areas of the city as hideouts and the state capital is regularly used as a transit point, the chief minister had said six weeks ago in a speech at the police headquarters in Lalbazar. Bhattacharjee had urged the police force to look out for such 'safe havens'.
Today, Maoist politburo member Asit Jana, who was arrested from Hind Motor area yesterday on charges of waging war against the state, confessed during interrogation that the house where he and his associates had been staying was their main operational base of the region.
'We used this house as our base as nobody would have any clue about our operations here,' Jana said in the face of intense grilling.
The rebels also used to travel to Calcutta quite frequently and ask courier agencies in the city to deliver consignments to all parts of the country.
'They used small-time courier companies to even send consignments of explosives to states like Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Assam. They also used to ferry secret documents back to Calcutta, including some plans,' said a senior police official connected with the probe.
A list of the courier agencies that used by Jana for ferrying the Maoists' consignments has been prepared. A team of officers has already left for Patna, Guwahati and Bhubaneswar to dig out more details about Jana's connections.
'Based on the information passed on by Jana, we are already conducting raids in many cities,' said another officer.
Several incriminating documents seized from the house in Hind Motors mentioned details of foreign connections of the rebels, who are suspected to have also got foreign funds.
The police have also recovered several grotesque photographs. Some of the photographs are of executions, while others showed Maoist rebels holding traditional jana adalats in jungles.
'Everything has been well documented by them and this will help us frame the case against them much better,' said an officer.
Jana's revelation also comes in the backdrop of national and international intelligence agencies having for years warned the Bengal government about the increasing trend of militants hiding in Calcutta.
Most criminals from the Mumbai underworld also hide in Calcutta to escape the clutches of the police whenever the heat is on.