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Home / North-east / Veteran Maoist leader Arun Kumar Bhattacharjee arrested in Assam

Veteran Maoist leader Arun Kumar Bhattacharjee arrested in Assam

The police caught him and his close associate just days after the arrest of five suspected militants, including a Bangladeshi national, from Barpeta district
Representational image.
Representational image.
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Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 08.03.22, 01:19 AM

Veteran CPI (Maoist) leader Arun Kumar Bhattacharjee alias Kanchan Da was arrested with a close associate from a tea garden in Cachar district on Sunday evening, Assam police said on Monday.

Bhattacharjee, 70, is a member of the central committee and an “ideologue and strategist” of the proscribed CPI (Maoist), Guwahati police commissioner Harmeet Singh said. He hails from Howrah district in Bengal. 

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Assam police caught the Maoist duo just days after the arrest of five suspected militants, including a Bangladeshi national, from Assam’s Barpeta district for their alleged nexus with banned Bangladeshi militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) with “affiliation” to the al Qaida.

Bangladesh had banned the ABT in 2015.

These arrests come in the wake of the Assam government’s decision to extend the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act, 1958 for six months from February 28.

The contentious central law gives the armed forces sweeping powers to search, arrest and shoot in areas designated as “disturbed”. Most militant organisations operating in Assam are either in ceasefire or talks. The Ulfa has declared a unilateral ceasefire since May.

A Guwahati crime branch team accompanied by police commandos conducted an operation in Patimara tea estate under Udarband police station in Cachar, leading to the arrest of Bhattacharjee and his associate Akash Urang alias Kajal. Urang is a member of the Assam state organising committee of the CPI (Maoist), Singh said.  

Both of them were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The police said the CPI (Maoist) had been attempting to spread its roots in Assam and the Northeast. A lot of cash has flown from eastern regional bureau of the CPI (Maoist) to further the outfit’s activities in Assam, and Bhattacharjee was “assigned the task to take over” the command of Assam and the Northeast region, the police added.

Singh said the “motives” of the CPI (Maoist) included creating a “red corridor” in the Northeast for a unified action against the security forces as part of a larger conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks and to set up a core committee in Assam.

The police said Bhattacharjee was an ex-Maoist communist centre special committee member till 2004, adding that Rs 3,60,000 was found in his possession.



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