Senior Maoist leader Venkatesh Reddy alias Deepak, arrested here on Tuesday evening, was a regular visitor to Kolkata for the past 15 years. He was also involved in strengthening the Maoist network in the city as well as in Nandigram and Khejuri in Purbo Medinipur district of West Bengal, police officials here said on Wednesday.
“For the last three to four years, his focus area was Nandigram, Khejuri and also Kolkata. He was active in West Bengal for the last 10 years and coming to the city and its surrounding areas for about 15 years now,” Additional Director-General of Criminal Investigation Department Raj Kanojia told journalists.
Reddy was produced before a special court at Alipore during the day and remanded to 14-day police custody.
He is a close associate of CPI(Maoist) polit bureau member Kishanji and himself a member of the Maoist Central Military Commission.
Following tip-offs about Reddy's impending visit to the city's southern suburban area on Tuesday, the police cast a net.
He was arrested near the Sarsuna market in the Behala area and taken to the State police headquarters for interrogation.
Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh called the arrest “a very good catch.”
Mr. Kanojia said Reddy had “many aliases” and was connected with several incidents of killing of security personnel and political rivals as well as arson in the Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia districts.
Reddy is suspected to be a mastermind behind the massacre of 24 Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans at the Silda camp in Paschim Medinipur district on February 15. The police are also investigating his role in attacks on security personnel at Sankrail and Gidhni in Paschim Medinipur district and recently at Sarenga in Bankura district.
“While there are about 40 cases filed against him in West Bengal, he is also wanted in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh from where police teams are expected to arrive soon to interrogate him,” Mr. Kanojia said.