The Maoist couple Bikash alias Manasharam Hembram and his wife Tara alias Thakurmoni Hembram were remanded in the custody of the police till April 17 after being produced before the Bankshall Court on Sunday.
Bikash and Tara, both close aides of their slain leader Kishenji, were arrested from Maidan area on Saturday afternoon. They had been staying in a rented house at Mogra in Hooghly. Police had recovered an AK-47 riffle, a 7.62 mm pistol, two magazines, nine live cartridges, 120 bullets, Maoist literature and a letter written in tribal language from them.
On Sunday they were taken to the court premises amidst tight security and their faces were covered with clothes. Bikash’s counsel protested against the step of the police of bringing both of them with their faces covered. Claiming that the arrested person is not Maoist leader Bikash, he said that why police have covered their faces when the investigating agency has not sought permission for test identification (TI) parade from the court.
The state’s counsel submitted before the court that both of them had been involved with the Maoist activities for the past eight to nine years and they had taken part in many operations. He pleaded for full term police custody of the both. The court later passed the order sending both of them in the police’s custody till April 17.
It may be mentioned that Bikash used to be in the action squads during these attacks. But Tara used to head the squad, which was later named as Tara’s squad, to carry out a reccee of the area before undertaking an operation. She had a band of women Maoists in her squad those used to visit the places headed by her posing as nachnis, artists of a local dance firm, for the reccee.
Both Bikash and Tara had taken an active part in the EFR camp attack at Silda and abduction of the officer-in-charge of Sankrail Police Station. Tara had visited both Sankrail and Silda to gauze the strength of the force there a week ahead of the attacks. She also used to join the action squads.
In four years since 2009, they had gained the faith of Kisheji and they had learnt the techniques of spreading their base from him.
An officer of the STF said they will interrogate the couple to know that for how long they had been staying in Mogra and the names of the Maoist leaders with whom they are still in touch. For which police custody of both for full term was essential.
“It is also important for us to know the reason behind their settlement so close to the city. We came to know that they used to visit the city often. Thus it proves that they have a link in the city as well,” the officer said.