A man working as an English and maths tutor in Mumbai was arrested by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad on Monday on charges of trying to spread Maoist philosophy in the city.
An ATS statement said Surya Devra Prabhakar was a member of a Naxal group and former member of the banned Peoples War Group (PWG). It said it had received reliable information from other arrested Maoists and its Vikhroli unit arrested him from outside his home in suburban Kanjur Marg; he had been working as a tutor in the MMRDA transit camp there.
We have seized a bag with PWG literature,a CPU,a pen drive and a mobile phone, said an officer.
ATS sources said Prabhakar has admitted his association with the CPI(Maoist) and with the PWG since 1978. Prabhakar has admitted he was active in the city and was trying to spread Maowadi thoughts among members from Mumbai city. He was in the process of creating a base for Maoists activities in Mumbai, the statement said.
The ATS said Prabhakar had been operating under a PWG subsidiary,Peoples Guerrilla Army (PGA),formed in December 2000. The PWG has a number of frontal organisations of students,youth,industrial workers,miners,farmhands,women,writers and cultural artists. In Maharashtra,the PWG used to be active in Gadchiroli,Bhandara and Chandrapur districts in Vidarbha.
A team of lawyers wrote to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and to the Mumbai Police Commissioners office,rallying behind Prabhakar. He was living a very modest life and had left the organisation (PWG) a decade ago. Police are simply targeting former members, said a lawyer.
The ATS said Prabhakars name cropped up during the interrogation of Shriniwas and Vernon Gonsalves,alleged CPI(M-L) activists. Prabhakar was wanted in our records for quite some time. We know him as a person who has taken important policy decisions on Naxal operations. Gadchiroli alone has some significant cases registered against him, said ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi.
In Nagpur,police sources said Prabhakar is named in the FIR in the October murder of Suresh Halami,allegedly a police informer. He is suspected to have been involved in an attack on a poll security team on October 13.