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Maoist spills N-E beans

Guwahati, May 23: A top Maoist leader has told interrogators about the group’s activities in Assam and its connection with the People’s Liberation Army of Manipur.

Ajay Chanda alias Indranil Chanda alias Raj, 37, who was arrested in Calcutta on April 21 and taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) today, was in charge of expanding the Maoist base in Assam. Chanda is also known as Jhulan in Maoist circles.

An official source said the Guwahati branch of the NIA took him into custody from Calcutta police and brought him here this morning. He was produced before the NIA special court and remanded in NIA custody for seven days.

The source said Chanda had connections with senior PLA leaders and was instrumental in transhipment of arms from PLA hideouts in Manipur to the Maoist strongholds in Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. It was he who sent money to the PLA for supplying sophisticated arms and ammunition.

“During interrogation, Chanda, who hails from Burdwan district in West Bengal, admitted that he was a key man in bringing arms for Maoists from Manipur and the Upper Assam Leading Committee of CPI (Maoist) was constituted under his initiative,” the source said.

“He was the key man behind the rise of Maoists in Assam. He has revealed the names of several members and sympathisers of CPI (Maoist) in the state. He had visited many places in Assam such as Guwahati, Jorhat and Tinsukia several times in the recent past to supervise Maoist operations in the state with Calcutta as his base,” the source said.

More arrests are likely to be made in Assam and Manipur based on Chanda’s confessions.

The NIA is expecting to extract more details from him. “We have arrested him in connection with case number 1/11 registered by the Guwahati branch of the NIA pertaining to the Maoist-PLA nexus,” the source said.

The chargesheet, filed by the NIA in case number 1/11 on Monday, mentions that the PLA was supplying arms and ammunition and imparting training to Maoists.

“The PLA, which has bases in Myanmar, was supplying Chinese arms and communication devices to the Maoists,” he added.