CHENNAI: It has been 13 years since anyone has seen Kalidas. But every police record on the Maoist movement in Tamil Nadu revolves around this man. It is said Kalidas, one of the most wanted men of the state police, oversees the operations of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Tamil Nadu.
“All we know about this man is hearsay. During various operations against the Left extremist movements, the people we get to interact have spoken about Kalidas. It was often told he was a key person in organising training camps for the new recruits,” says a police officer who had once handled the operations. The latest testimony police have about Kalidas is the accounts allegedly given by a group of Dalit youths who were arrested from Natham Colony in Dharmapuri district last July. One of them, who was drawn into the extremist movement, is said to have told police that he had sighted Kalidas.
Born in Paramakudi, the headquarters of the drought-prone Ramanathapuram district in southern Tamil Nadu, he was last seen by the law enforcement agencies in 2002 when he was granted a conditional bail by a court. Since then, it has been an almost impossible task for the police to get hold of Kalidas. “We may be not able to trace him again, but it is a fact that his activities have been curtailed to a great extent. No major activity by the Left extremist groups has been reported in the state recently,” says a senior police officer when asked why is it a difficult task to trace Kalidas.
Months after Kalidas absconded after getting a conditional bail in 2002, his wife, named Sathya, was arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act and was detained for several months. It is alleged that Sathya was arrested to force Kalidas come out of hiding, but the move apparently failed. Sathya, after release got separated from Kalidas.
Following the arrest of Roopesh, who was in-charge of the operations of the CPI (Maoist) in Kerala, it is buzzed in the police circles that the police are either close in nabbing Kalidas or he might have slipped from the police grip. The Central Committee of CPI (Maoist), which manages the resources, is dominated by the persons from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The fact that it was the Andhra Pradesh police which got intelligence on the location of Roopesh and his accomplice has given rise to suspicion whether the friction between the state units and the central leadership of the outfit played a role in the recent arrest. “We never know if the outfit’s members themselves leaked the information to the Andhra police about the location or cell phone numbers to settle a score,” said a police source.
Only time will determine if the police are once again successful securing Kalidas and we may come to know more about the state’s most wanted. Till then he remains the most elusive chieftain of the outfit.