RAMANATHAPURAM/DHARMAPURI: Busting a suspected module to draft youngsters into the Naxal movement in the backward Dharmapuri region, sleuths of the Anti-Naxal Special Duty Wing on Thursday detained a 24-year-old youth from Ramanathapuram district. The youth, Sathish Kumar of Melaiyur near Anandhur in Ramanathapuram was allegedly in regular touch with Anandhi alias Amalorpavam (50), an old-time Naxalite.
Investigators told Express that Sathish Kumar had studied in a government-run Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Sivaganga where Anandhi, a native of Thirukkai village, worked as a cook. “We suspect that on finding Sathish Kumar to be an active individual, Anandhi had ‘mentored’ and introduced him to extremist ideology,” a police officer said.
Incidentally, Anandhi was one of the five women, who were arrested during an anti-Naxal combing operation at Uthangarai in the then composite Dharmapuri district in November 2002. In that operation, police had controversially shot dead Siva alias Parthiban, a functionary of the Radical Youth League.
The women and their male colleagues, numbering around 20, were subsequently detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA, since repealed) and remanded in jail by the POTA Court in Poonamallee near Chennai. After spending several years in prison, many of the accused including Anandhi came out of prison on bail.
“Anandhi maintained her links with Naxal outfit leaders in Dharmapuri and she had introduced Sathish Kumar to them,” an officer said.
Recently, the police had detained Anandhi and monitored her mobile phone call records. On finding that she had received/made calls to a particular number often, police tracked it down to that of Sathish Kumar.
“Four days ago, we traced a call made by a Naxal commander to Sathish Kumar and we rushed to Thiruvadanai to track him but failed,” an officer said.
According to sources, following the failed attempt to nab Sathish Kumar, police had detained his brother Palani on Wednesday to ascertain the former’s whereabouts. “On learning about this, Sathish Kumar presented himself before the Thiruvadanai Police Station on Thursday from where the waiting Anti-Naxal Special Duty Wing team took him to Dharmapuri for interrogation,” an officer said. Palani was then let off.
It is learnt that the police is also hunting for two suspected Naxals from Dharmapuri — Chandran and Manivasagam. However, till late Thursday night, the Anti-Naxal Wing refused to confirm if Sathish Kumar was formally arrested or merely held for the purpose of questioning.
Incidentally, in October 2012, the Chennai police had arrested 13 persons for suspected links with Naxalites and of them three — Duraisingavel, Palani and Baskar were detained under POTA.