Monday, August 8, 2022

Veteran CPI (Maoist) leader ‘Kanchan Da’ nabbed in Assam

Veteran CPI (Maoist) leader and a member of its central committee, Arun Kumar Bhattacharjee, known by his nom de guerre ‘Kanchan Da’, was arrested in Cachar district of Assam, a top police officer said on Monday.
He was nabbed from a tea garden under Udharbond police station on Sunday evening along with one of his associates Akash Orang alias Rahul, Guwahati Police Commissioner Harmeet Singh told a press conference here.
“He is a big catch for Guwahati Police. We got information about his movements in December and he slipped through two-three operations earlier. But last evening, we were able to arrest him when he tried to hide in a tea garden,” Singh said.
The 72-year-old ‘Kanchan Da’ was tasked to set up a state-level committee of the CPI (Maoist) in Assam and create a “red corridor” from a neighbouring country to other Maoist-hit states of India like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh among others, he said. “His job was also to organise state party congress, recruit local cadres and purchase weapons here. We seized one laptop, a mobile phone, a huge amount of incriminating documents and Rs 3.6 lakh cash from his possession,” the police commissioner said.
He said efforts to set up a network of Maoist cadres in Assam were at a “nascent stage” and those had been “nipped in the bud”.
Singh also said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been informed about the arrest and their officers are on the way to Guwahati to take over the case as it involves multi-state terror activities, threatening national security.
“We have come to know that around 200 cases are registered against the ideologue in different states, which have cumulatively announced a reward of over Rs 3 crore. Arresting him is a big success from the perspective of national security,” he added.
Singh said a case has been registered at the Crime Branch of Guwahati Police under various sections of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
When asked if the CPI (Maoist) has been able to influence local youths to join the organisation, the top police officer said: “We have got some names, including a few from outside the state, and are verifying those.”


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