A team of police officials from Andhra Pradesh are in the city to interrogate Venkateswara Reddy alias Deepak, West Bengal Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh said.

“A team led by an official of the rank of superintendent of police is already here,” he told The Hindu, adding that Deepak was wanted in a large number of cases in the southern State.

‘Very big catch'

Speaking to journalists , Mr. Singh said that in West Bengal, Deepak was involved in the planning and commissioning of every Maoist activity — killing civilians, and policemen and setting up bases for the spread of the organisation. He was a member of the State committee as well as the military commission and was an expert on explosives, he said in response to a question. “He is a very big catch” Mr. Singh said.

“He was involved in every Maoist incident across the State, with his activities spilling over beyond the boundaries of the districts of Paschim Medinipur, Purulia and Bankura identified as left wing extremism-affected districts.

“He was involved in Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia and he is also very much involved in the activities in Haripur,” Mr. Singh said.

Haripur in Purba Medinipur has been identified as one of the probable sites for a nuclear power plant where land acquisition is being opposed by the locals.

Tight-lipped

Mr. Singh, who has already interrogated Deepak, was tight-lipped about the interrogation but said that the arrested leader has been in West Bengal since 1999 and perhaps even prior to that and “has been involved in the activities in Jangalmahal [the forested areas around Lalgarh] and even beyond.”

He said that Deepak who speaks Bengali possibly visited the city frequently.