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CPI Maoist Polit bureau member Kobad Gandhi arrested in Delhi

Posted by Admin on September 22, 2009

Anu Radha Gandhi

Anuradha Gandhi

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested top Maoist leader Kobad Gandhi from an undisclosed place in Delhi late Sunday evening. A Tees Hazari court on Monday sent him to 14 days judicial custody.

Gandhi, a Politbureau and Central Committee member of the banned CPI (Maoist), was reportedly staying in Delhi for the past three years and was traced after inputs from intelligence agencies and Jharkhand Police.

“He has been with the CPI (Maoist) for last many years and was in-charge of expanding the party in urban areas. He “is widely acknowledged as an ideologue and was also in-charge of the party’s publication wing, and played a crucial role in getting international recognition to the party,” a senior police official said. “He was staying alone in Delhi but he has sympathizers here. We are checking his visits, mobile phone details and accounts to know about his contacts here in Delhi,” a senior police official said.

The police, however, did not disclose details about the place he was arrested from or recoveries made from him. The police is also clueless about the motive behind his stay in Delhi.

Gandhi has worked in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. His wife Anuradha Gandhi, a founder member of the CPI-ML and Vidyarthi Pragatisheel Sanghatana (VPS) in Maharashtra, died some time ago.

The Gandhis worked with tribals and beedi workers in Chandrapur before moving to tribals areas in Maharashtra’s Dhule and Nandurbar districts. But after their peers and top CPI (Maoist) leaders Madanlal, Murli, Arun Fereira, Vernon Gonsalves and Vishnu were arrested by the police, the Gandhis went underground.

Gandhi will now be handed over to Jharkhand Police. “The Jamshedpur police officials have been informed about his arrest and they may arrive in a few days to take his custody. Till now, we have not found him involved in any unlawful activity in Delhi but we are trying to know if he had any link with any Maoist arrested in Delhi earlier,” a police official said IE

Silver-spoon Maoist held

New Delhi, Sept. 21: A Maoist politburo member, who studied in Doon School and Elphinstone College before he went underground with his wife, has been arrested in Delhi, sources said.

Khobad Ghandy, the 58-year-old member of the CPI (Maoist) politburo, was apparently arrested last night but police did not make any official announcement through the day. The politburo has 13 members, which puts Ghandy among the top 13 Maoist leaders in the country.

“I have no official information on this (the arrest),” said Delhi police public relations officer Rajan Bhagat.

But the sources said Ghandy, said to be in charge of the publication wing and of spreading the organisation’s influence in urban areas, had been produced before a magistrate who remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

Ghandy’s reported arrest swings the spotlight back to the early seventies when a generation of the brightest used to be drawn to extremist ideologies.

He was born into an affluent Parsi family that had a house famed for its antique furniture in Worli Sea Face in Mumbai, an ice-cream factory and a resort in Mahabaleswar. The young Ghandy went to public school and later to Elphinstone College in Mumbai.

He married Anuradha who hailed from a Konkan family that owned a coffee plantation. Anuradha died this year of cerebral malaria.

The couple disappeared from the mainstream years ago, friends recalled today. “They took care to destroy most of their photographs, even those from their younger days, as they did not want them to fall into the hands of the police. When Anuradha died, we could not find any photograph,” a friend said tonight.

The couple chose not to have any children because of the risks associated with their lives, the friend added. “He is the only one in our circle to have joined the Naxalites. Most others are now in the corporate sector or, of late, with NGOs,” the friend said.

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), a rights group, asked the government to confirm whether Ghandy had been arrested. “Given that many a Maoist leader in (the) recent past has been killed in custody, we urge the ministry of home affairs to confirm whether they have arrested the Maoist leader. And if they have, to produce him before a magistrate in order to ensure that he is not tortured or killed in fake encounter,” a statement said.

Security sources said the arrest could be the result of heightened activity by the government ahead of an expected crackdown on Naxalites in central and eastern India. Last month, a Maoist central military commission member was arrested.

The Centre is planning the joint operation in November after elections conclude in Maharashtra and Haryana where 200 companies of paramilitary forces are engaged in poll duty.


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