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Cops mug up before Maoist quiz - Rush to gather rebel reading material

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By PRONAB MONDAL in Calcutta
  • Published 25.02.08

Calcutta, Feb. 25: If you catch a CID sleuth leafing through a Maoist magazine, don’t think he’s getting into guerrilla garb — he is only preparing to question Somen.

The CPI (Maoist) top gun is giving Criminal Investigation Department officers a tough time as they have no clue about what to ask him.

“Before replying to our questions, he is measuring our knowledge about his or-ganisation. He has realised our ignorance,” an officer admitted.

Embarrassed, the sleuths are now burning the midnight oil devouring books and magazines on the Naxalite outfit. A bunch of books was brought to the CID’s Bhabani Bhavan headquarters today.

The officers are also making use of little magazines seized from a house in Howrah where Somen had allegedly been staying over the past three months.

“We are trying to collect books that have updated information about the outfit. Officers have been told to read thoroughly,” said Rajeev Kumar, the CID special inspector-general (operations).

An officer said being well-versed with the organisation’s structure and members of its politburo, central and state committees was a must before questioning a “top leader like Somen”.

“Besides, we must know the history of the outfit. We are also surfing the Net.”

With only 10 days to question the Maoist leader before he is produced in court again, the officers have decided to streamline their reading on Somen.

“We are trying to find out the power a CPI (Maoist) state secretary wields and how much priority his opinion gets in central committee meetings,” an officer said.

Somen has told the CID that he had been hiding in and around the city for the past four months.

“He rented a house in Howrah’s Shibpur with one of his associates, who fled within hours of his boss’s arrest. We found magazines, torches, a solar panel and an empty container in the house,” Kumar said.

Somen had also taken refuge in Metiabruz and Kasba, a CID officer said. “He wanted to melt into the crowd and make identification difficult for us. He knew we did not have a clear photograph of his face.”