Following the last week’s arrest of a top Maoist and his aide from the city, investigations have revealed that a real estate agent helped them take an apartment on rent in Talegaon Dabhade.
On May 8, the state’s Anti-Terroirsm Squad (ATS) had arrested top Maoist leader K Muralidharan alias Thomas Joseph alias Ajith and his aide Ismail Hamaza Chiragpilli alias Pravin alias James Mathew (29) from Talegaon Dabhade. The duo were later remanded to police custody by the court for seven days.
During interrogations, investigators got to know that the Maoists had approached the real estate agent and introduced themselves as Thomas Joseph and James Mathew. They told the agent, who apparently liked to do social work, that they were social activists working for tribals. The agent not only helped the Maoists in getting a 1BHK apartment at Lotus Villa building in Talegaon Dabhade, but also kept some of their belongings with him.
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ATS sleuths are now questioning the agent. They have already questioned the apartment owner, Shripad Parshuram Paranjape, a local resident, who has told them that he was not aware of the Maoist links of the duo. The Pune rural police have now booked him under IPC section 188 for violation of official order to provide information on his tenants to the police. A report in this regard will be submitted to the ATS, said Talegaon Dabhade police.
Investigators suspect that Maoists chose Talegaon Dabhade as it is located in the rural area and is also close to Pune and Mumbai, the two cities where Maoists could be trying to spread their base.
ATS has also recovered a PAN card and Aadhar card with fake names from the two Maoists, which they claim to have procured from Mumbai. Investigators believe that “underground” operatives carrying out such specific tasks of raising logistics and medical support for Maoists in urban areas may have helped the duo in procuring PAN and Aadhar cards.
Two such alleged underground operatives, Arun Bhelke and his wife Kanchan Nanaware, both members of the Golden Corridor Committee of the Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoists), were arrested by the ATS in September 2014. The couple lived at Kanhe Phata in Maval taluka of Pune district, but were operating secretly in Pune, Mumbai and adjoining districts. They had also managed to get PAN and Aadhar cards from Mumbai.
During their interrogation, Ajith and Ismail denied knowing Arun, Kanchan and artistes of Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch who were also arrested by the ATS for their alleged links with Maoists.
Meanwhile, the investigators have recovered a few cell phones, SIM cards, electronic gadgets and documents with code language from the arrested duo. Attempts are on to decode this information. Also, the cellphones had no contacts saved. Police suspect Ajith used cellphones and SIM cards very carefully for speaking to his contacts without getting intercepted.
Investigators said Ajith was among the top Maoists in the country and is suspected to have maintained frequent contact with Ganapathy, the top-most leader of the banned Communist Party of India CPI-Maoists).
ATS chief meets Pune top cop
Days after the arrest of two alleged Maoists from Talegaon Dabhade area, new ATS chief Vivek Phansalkar, who has taken the charge last month, met Pune Police Commissioner K K Pathak on Wednesday.
Phansalkar said, “We will be working together with the city and rural police. There is need to interact with these police bodies, train them and activate them with regards to this issue.”
Phansalkar also said that the ATS had updated its list of wanted and absconding criminals and now there were 197 and 47 of them on the list, respectively. These criminals on ATS records are from the cases related to acts of terror, Arms Act and cases of fake currency circulation.