MALAPPURAM: The arrest of Maoist leader Roopesh will be a huge relief for the Home Department as it will provide the much needed breakthrough in the investigation of Maoist cases registered in the state in the last three years.
Armed gangs in the northern districts of the state were first spotted in the first half of 2013. Home minister then, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, deployed the police personnel having experience in anti-Maoist operations in the key areas of the northern districts to tackle the menace.
Suresh Raj Purohit, Kannur Range IG, took charge as the nodal officer for the anti-Maoist operation in the state while Putta Vimaladithaya was the officer in charge of direct operation.
An anti-Maoist police force was formed under them by recruiting best officers in the field. But, they were shuffled when Ramesh Chennithala took charge as the Home Minister, which led to Thiruvanchoor openly criticising the move. It became a challenge, a political one, for the Home Department for a breakthrough when alleged Maoist attacks began in different parts of the state.
The Home Department faced vehement criticism from various corners for lack of progress in the investigation.
At the same time, the arrest of a few persons in connection with the Maoist cases invited ire from human rights organisations. The quick response of the Home Minister on the arrest of Roopesh and his wife was an indication of his relief.
“The Home Department began efforts to nab these persons during my tenure. It is really a big breakthrough in the anti-Maoist operations by the state. There were tremendous efforts to force them to surrender. The arrest is a relief for the police and the government,” Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told ‘Express’.
The arrest would help the Kerala police to unravel around 20 Maoist cases registered in the state. “It is a big breakthrough in the anti-Maoist operation in the state. Roopesh is a most wanted person,” IG Suresh Raj Purohit said.