CHENNAI: A suspect in the attack on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s motorcade in 2003 in Tirupati was arrested along with two other Maoist suspects, at Poondi in neighbouring Tiruvallur district.
Police said they arrested Shenbagavalli (36), who was part of the squad that actively targeted Naidu, who survived the attempt on his life and sustained minor injuries when mines exploded on Tirumala ghat road in October 2003.
Shenbagavalli, sister of Bhagat Singh, said to be a key leader of Maoist movement, was picked up by police along with her husband Dasarathan (38) and brother-in-law Jaga Veerapandian, 34. The trio had identified themselves as farmers.
Police said Dasarathan and Shenbagavalli were trained in Maoists camps in Andhra Pradesh. Based on their statement, police managed to narrow down on Dasarathan’s brother Jaga Veerapandian. The ‘Q’ branch and other special units are investigating.
The trio came under police radar after a get together was organised on Friday night. Police sources said about 10 others escaped after they found police had cornered them.
Police said the other suspects may have escaped after hiding inside the forest area. “We got a tip off about Maoist suspects and we maintained surveillance before striking at their house,” said the Tiruvallur superintendent of police Sibi Chakravarthi.
Police said they have seized a laptop, two mobiles, maps and audio, video DVDs and pen drives from the house. Police have also collected confidential information about their network.
Dasarathan was district secretary in Maoists unit and he could handle guns and grenade. After speaking to their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, police came to know that Dasarathan was also well versed in preparing bombs.
Shenbagavalli was also one of the core functionaries in the Maoist unit. They fell in love with each other and got married. The three were staying in a house at Poondi and were waiting for an opportunity to enrol new members for their outnumbered Naxal activities, police said.
“Dasarathan is a native of Tiruvallur,” police said. “Shenbagavalli is responsible for enrolling new members. The police are questioning them.