Top Bengal Maoist leader in police net

February 24th, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 24 (IANS) A top Maoist leader of West Bengal has been arrested by sleuths of the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) from a railway station near here, police said Sunday. Somen, whose real name is Himadri Sen Roy, is the state secretary of Communist Party of India-Maoist, police claimed. He was held Saturday evening and his associate Deba was also arrested simultaneously, said Rajiv Kumar, CID deputy inspector general (operations).

Somen was arrested from Hridaypur railway station in North 24 Parganas district, about 25 km from here. The Maoist leader had tried to break free but was finally captured with the help of local people and tea stall owners.

Police recognised him from his stammering, a speech disorder about which they had prior knowledge.

He would later be produced in Barasat special court, while Deba would be produced in Chandannagore court in Hooghly district.

Somen has been charged with waging war against the state and plotting the killings of several Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders and police officers of West Bengal.

A Maoist since the 1970s, the 52-year-old had been on the run for years but has never been arrested before, police said.

“This is a breakthrough in our war against the Maoists,” said Kumar, who led the team that caught Somen.

CID officers said Somen had masterminded the killing of CPI-M leaders Rabi Kar and Mahendra Mahato in Purulia, Barikul officer-in-charge Prabal Sengupta in Bankura and Bandwan Officer-incharge Nilmadhab Das in Purulia.

Reports said he had ordered the murder of CPI-M leader and school headmaster Karamchand Singh in West Midnapore’s Belpahari on Feb 22.

Officers said they had received a tip-off that Somen would meet an associate on platform No.2 of Hridaypur railway station.

The Maoist leader arrived at Hridaypur station at around 5 p.m. and began talking to the associate. Immediately, two disguised CID officers approached him and struck up a conversation.

“We wanted to verify his identity. We knew Somen stammered,” an officer said. “As soon as he began speaking, we knew we had our man.”

The two officers grabbed Somen. His associate Dilip Mandi alias Deba was chased and caught.

According to a report, in a recent article in CPI-Maoist organ Biplabi Yug, which Somen edits, the rebel leader had said his outfit had formed the front line in the Nandigram land war.

“We were in Nandigram right from the beginning,” he wrote. “We led the movement at every step…. We were in Nandigram, we are in Nandigram and we will continue to remain in Nandigram.”

Somen, who is from Suryanagar in Khardah, North 24-Parganas, joined the Maoist Communist Centre in the ’70s and later the People’s War Group.

Since the CPI-Maoist was formed a few years ago, Somen has been overseeing its West Bengal operations.

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