Maoists' arrest: Cops to focus probe on source of seized modern weapons

Maoist cadre Chandru being taken for interrogation from the Wayanad police headquarters on Wednesday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Wayanad: Police have commenced an investigation into the source of the assault rifles – AK 47 and INSAS Light Machine Guns – which they seized from the Maoist cadres following the encounter at Chapparam tribal settlement near Mananthavadi, Wayanad, on Tuesday night.

Though the arrested cadres Chandru and Unnimaya have yet to reveal anything concrete about the source, the probe seems to be focusing on the most probable theory that cadres from the north provided their south counterparts with the weapons.

There were many incidents of Maoists attacking troops and taking away weapons of slain army personnel in the north. In 2021, 22 personnel were killed and 30 injured when 400 Maoist guerillas attacked CoBRA commandos, the jungle warfare unit of CRPF, in Chhattisgarh. Maoists armed with Light Machine Guns (CMG) decamped with dozens of sophisticated weapons.

On Wednesday, ADGP (North Zone) M R Ajith Kumar confirmed that police seized sophisticated weapons used by the army from the shooting site. Though there were five recent incidents of Maoist cadres' presence in the district, police believe all the groups were different. Though police tried their best to elicit information about a secret hideout of Maoists in the jungle, the attempts proved futile.

Aerial surveillance resumed
Aerial surveillance has resumed in the jungle zones adjacent to the Chapparam tribal settlement from where three cadres escaped in the cover of darkness when Thunderbolt commandos surrounded the house where they were camping. A team of officials had flown a few sorties around the location in a helicopter on Thursday morning as a backup for the ground-level combing operations of the commandos. However, the aerial surveillance was suspended later as there was no movement detected on the ground in the jungle.

Sleuths from Karnataka, TN to quiz ultras
Personnel from the special anti-Maoist forces of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will reach Wayanad to interrogate the two ultras to learn about Maoist activities in the two states.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu police told Onmanorama that sleuths from the Intelligence Special Wing would visit Wayanad in the coming days to interrogate the arrested cadres. For the last three years, the Maoist movement in Tamil Nadu has thinned down owing to the strengthening of several special wings.

Chandru had moved out of the Tamil Nadu forest zone along with his fellow cadres as police had sealed all jungle routes and dens used by Maoists for their jungle operations, he added.

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