Hyderabad/Raipur, Jan. 5: Narayan Sanyal, a member of the supreme council of Maoists in India, has been arrested.
The capture of Sanyal, who is from Calcutta and had worked in a nationalised bank in Bengal, is being considered a crushing blow to the Naxalites as he was one of the six members of the central committee ' the highest decision-making unit of the CPI (Maoist).
Sanyal alias Naveen Prasad alias Vijay is also suspected to be the brain behind the Jehanabad jailbreak.
Police said he was picked up from a bus stand in Andhra Pradesh’s Khammam district on Tuesday morning but Maoists said the Naxalite leader was caught last week in Chhattisgarh and kept in custody there.
The police insisted that a special squad of Khammam police arrested the 68-year-old when he was waiting at the bus stand, a bag in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Sanyal, who is also suspected to be behind the landmine attack on former Andhra chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in October 2003, was produced in a local court for 10 minutes. He has been remanded in judicial custody for 15 days and will be lodged in Warangal jail, said Khammam district police superintendent R.K. Meena.
A 9-mm pistol, six live rounds of ammunition, a walkie-talkie, Rs 13,900 in cash and revolutionary literature were seized from the Naxalite top gun, the police said.
In a statement, Maoist leaders alleged that he had been arrested from Dangania village near Raipur on December 28 and detained illegally for a week before being handed over to Andhra Pradesh police.
The rebels said their leader, who is diabetic and suffers from a kidney-related problem, had come to Raipur for treatment.
They added that instead of producing him in a court, Chhattisgarh police had subjected him to physical and mental torture to extract information about the Maoist movement in Chhattisgarh. His brother Ram Madhav had filed a habeas corpus petition seeking Sanyal’s production in court.
Director-general of Chhattisgarh police .P. Rathor rubbished the claim, saying the state’s force did not have any role in the capture in Khammam, which neighbours Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region.
Sanyal came under the influence of Charu Mazumdar, the founder of the Naxalite movement, when he was working in the bank in Siliguri.
Sanyal has functioned as the in-charge of Maoist units in Orissa and Chhattisgarh and as the chairman of the political committee of the CPI (Maoist).
Sources said more than two dozen offences have been registered against him at different police stations in the Maoist-infested states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand.