Maoist working in Kovai unit held for killing 24 in West Bengal
Dreaded 26-year-old Maoist, Shyam Charan Tudu, masquerading as a worker in a foundry in Coimbatore, was arrested on Saturday night by a West Bengal police team, in an operation that has shaken the migrant workers’ community here. Police said Tudu was a member of the Naxal group that killed 24 paramilitary personnel during an ambush at the Silda camp near West Bengal’s Midnapore district on February 15, 2010. The team arrested him from the foundry unit at 9.30 pm on Saturday.
Unsuspecting employers of Nithya Industries, a medium-scale foundry unit at Thanneerpandal, about 3 km from the Coimbatore airport, had engaged Tudu in the motor parts’ casting unit in April 2012. The foundry has nearly 100 employees of whom 18 are migrants from Jharkhand and West Bengal. “Tudu had visited West Bengal early in February and returned to the city towards the end of February. The West Bengal police were tracking his movements by monitoring his mobile phone signals and finally traced him here,” a senior police officer said.
Coimbatore Deputy Commissioner of Police Pravesh Kumar, who interacted with the West Bengal police team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar Verma, said Tudu hailing from Jhargram, was drawn to the Maoist movement in 2008.
Apart from the Silda ambush, his role is suspected in the murder of a CPM leader in West Bengal and other cases.
The Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ Branch police and Coimbatore city police had extended logistical and technical support to the West Bengal team.
Immediately after Tudu was picked up, he was taken to the Peelamedu Police Station (Crime) at Cheran Maa Nagar, where he was grilled by the three police teams.
A school dropout, Tudu had taken to armed struggle and carried out attacks, including the one at the Eastern Frontier Rifles camp at Silda, which was one of the largest ultra operations in recent years. He had joined Nithya Industries along with other migrants and had not spread Maoist ideology, the DCP added.
Later in the day, the police produced Tudu at the house of Judicial Magistrate III Ramesh Babu, who remanded him in custody for a day.