Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

4 ‘Maoists’ arrested in Jungle Mahal

Fear of rebels regrouping in former den after a decade

By Pranab Mondal and Anshuman Phadikar in Goaltore(WestMidnapore)
  • Published 15.11.18, 2:16 AM
  • Updated 15.11.18, 2:16 AM
  • 2 mins read
Sabyasachi at Goaltore police station The Telegraph file picture

A medical student and a youth pursuing higher studies in Calcutta were among four persons arrested from Jungle Mahal in West Midnapore on Tuesday night on the charge of instigating people to join Maoists.

The arrests from Goaltore indicate that the Maoists could be regrouping in Jungle Mahal, their one-time hotbed, a decade after they were flushed out in joint operations by central security forces and state police.

Three of the suspects — Sabyasachi Goswami, 50, Sanjib Majumdar, 24, and Arkadip Goswami, 23 — are from Calcutta and its adjoining areas. Tipu Sultan, 23, is a resident of Santiniketan in Birbhum.

Arkadip is a fourth-year student of Burdwan Medical College, while Tipu is pursuing higher studies at Sanskrit College in Calcutta’s College Street after completing post-graduation from Visva-Bharati.

Sabyasachi had been arrested twice earlier for alleged links with the CPI (Maoist) and was granted bail by Calcutta High Court recently.

The police said he was a member of the outfit’s state committee in Bengal. Sanjib has claimed during interrogation that he is a human rights activist, police sources said.

Arkadip The Telegraph file picture
Sanjib The Telegraph file picture
Tipu The Telegraph file picture

“The four suspects were arrested on the basis of specific information. They could not explain the reasons behind their presence in Goaltore,” said Rajeev Mishra, inspector-general of police (western range).

According to the police, they received information on Tuesday evening that a group of “outsiders” had assembled in a forest adjacent to a playground in Makli village, Goaltore.

“A police team went to the spot and began combing the forest. The four were caught in the forest and Maoist literature was seized from them,” said Aloke Rajoria, superintendent of police of West Midnapore.

The police sources said the suspects had claimed during interrogation that they had gone to Goaltore to conduct surveys on the living conditions of tribals and the reasons behind the BJP’s “rise” in West Midnapore.

The four have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 121 (waging war against the state), 121A (conspiring to commit offence against the state), 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (if an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly, every other member shall be guilty of the offence).

Police sources said Maoists were trying to milk the “resentment against the ruling party” that a section of people in Jungle Mahal was said to be harbouring.

“We have information that eight to 10 groups of young men and women from urban areas, including Calcutta, are visiting different pockets of West Midnapore and building contacts with those who were once Maoist foot soldiers,” said an officer of the state intelligence branch.