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Bastar attack kingpin studying in Delhi,knows Roy,Patkar: Cops

The Chhattisgarh Police today claimed that the mastermind behind the July 6 Maoist attack on Congress leader Avdesh Singh Gautam’s house and the Kuakonda Police Station in Bastar....

The Chhattisgarh Police today claimed that the mastermind behind the July 6 Maoist attack on Congress leader Avdesh Singh Gautam’s house and the Kuakonda Police Station in Bastar had undergone militant training in Gujarat and New Delhi,and is currently doing a media-related course in the Capital.

Dantewada Senior Superintendent of Police S R P Kalluri told a TV channel that it was the first Naxal attack on an “urban area” in Bastar.

An unsigned press release,sent by the Dantewada police to newspaper offices,also claimed that the alleged mastermind,Lingamram Kodopi,had links with NGO Vanvasi Chetna Ashram of Himanshu Kumar,and was in touch with activists in Delhi such as Arundhati Roy,Nandini Sunder and Medha Patkar.

Reacting to the police claims,Patkar said “there were many Lingarams in Chhattisgarh”,and she didn’t know which one the police were talking about. She also called the police story fake.

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“Oh my god… sounds incredulous! I remember having come across one Lingaram or Linga,a youth from Chhattisgarh,a few months back. I think he used to work with Himanshu Kumar’s organisation… The person I know could not be the mastermind of a violent activity. He appeared a common Chhattisgarhi villager. Appeared harassed by the violence and was against violence,” Patkar said.

The police claim that after the killing of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad,Kodopi had been given the charge of Chhattisgarh. The police release also said he had gone abroad “several times” for training.

The police believe the motive behind the attacks was to target leaders of the BJP and Congress. Gautam may have been attacked for his close links with Mahendra Karma,the man behind the anti-Naxal Salwa Judum movement.

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In the attack,two people were killed while his son was injured. Six people have been arrested so far.

The police release said the Maoists had made a recording of the July 6 attacks,for which they had brought a person named Javed. “Some facts are also emerging about the presence of a few foreign journalists and others,” the release said.

First published on: 12-07-2010 at 04:42 IST
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