Security forces return empty-handed after interrogating Maoist couple

The reason being both Bikash and his wife Tara had to cut off connection with the Maoist bases in Jharkhand and Odisha on “political ground” one and a half year ago. The arrest of Bikash alias Manasharam Hembram and his wife Tara alias Thakurmoni Hembram from Maidan area by the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police on April 2 had raised hope among police from all the Maoist infested states and the Central agencies of getting current information about the top leaders of the Maoists and their activities.

Senior police officers from Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Bihar had visited the city police’s headquarter Lalbazar quite a few times in the past one month to interrogate the Maoist couple who were once known as the right hand of their slain leader Kisenji.

Bikash was the then secretary of the state military committee of the Maoists and his wife had headed the women squad for many years in Jangalmahal. Besides undertaking insurgency operations in West Bengal, they were also part of the squads those had attacked government officials and policemen in Jharkhand when Kisenji was alive.

The investigating agencies and policemen from the five states came running to interrogate the couple as they knew that Bikash and Tara were kept in safe shelters in forests in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh soon after Kisenji was killed. They had somehow managed to flee when Kisenji was attacked and later managed to flee to the neighbouring state Jharkhand with the help of other top leaders there.

Being important leaders from Jangalmahal, they were supposed to get inducted in some military squads of the Maoists either in Jharkhand or Chhattisgarh.

They had spent around three years till the end of 2014 in the dens of the Maoist in the two districts and was well aware of the plans that they were about to execute in the next few months. Some of the plans had also got executed after they returned to West Bengal.

Sources said that before interrogating the couple the policemen were unaware that they were not in 
direct touch with the party’s base in the two neighbouring states. Investigation revealed that for “certain political reason of the party” the Maoist couple was asked to move out of the forest area where top leaders of the Maoists held meeting amidst tight security in the end of 2014 and they had returned to West Bengal.

Apprehending getting arrested they didn’t take shelter in Jangalmahal and chose Mogra in Hooghly, situated just 70 km from Kolkata, as a safe place to stay. They were arrested when they came to the city on April 2.

Thus, whatever inputs the police officers from all the states have gathered from the Maoist couple were all outdated information. Brushing aside the possibility of lies given out by the Maoist couple to divert the investigating officers, a police officer said that further investigation had also made it clear that they were not in direct touch with the leaders in the Maoist bases in Chattisgarh and Jharkhand for the past one and a half year. But the couple had given up the old tactics of motivating youths by sharing Maoist history and ideology during their stay at Mogra.

From other sources, the police have come to know that Maoist activists from the state Jayanta, Ranjit, Biren and Arjun are still well active in Jharkhand. But the couple had failed to give any current input about these people or their present location.

Pritesh Basu

Pritesh Basu

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