The National Investigation Agency (NIA) launched simultaneous searches at suspected Maoist training centres and hideouts in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka since early Tuesday .
This followed specific inputs that revealed a training programme targeting youth in these States by systematically indoctrinating them to the Maoist ideology. Besides literature and propaganda material, investigators also came across some training videos, sources in the agency told The Hindu on Tuesday.
In Tamil Nadu, searches were conducted at 12 places, including Krishnagiri, Salem, Coimbatore, Theni and Sivaganga districts that had witnessed Maoist activities in the past. The NIA also conducted the searches in about half a dozen places in Karnataka and Kerala.
Investigators had gathered details on the training programme from different sources to corroborate information given by one of the arrested suspected Maoist leaders that a well-planned training module was in place to recruit cadres in the three States to establish their base in the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Maoists have been trying to establish a Western Ghats special zonal committee to pursue their arms struggle in southern India, but their efforts were thwarted with the arrest of some senior leaders and combing operations of the Special Task Force of the Tamil Nadu police in the forests of the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Erode, Dindigul and Theni districts, police sources added.
Investigators said incriminating documents, including hand-written notes, storage devices etc were seized during the searches.