Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad on Sunday arrested two top Naxal leaders from Mumbai.
“We have caught two Naxalites, who were in Mumbai, from the top cadre. It's a prized catch,” Maharashtra DGP, PS Pasricha said.
The two Naxalites – Vishnu alias Shridhar Krishnan Shrinivas, who is a member of the politburo and the Maoist Maharashtra state secretary, and Vikram alias Vernon Gonzalez, a Maoist National Committee member – were arrested from the outskirts of Mumbai after a 15-day operation.
“We have recovered six gelatin sticks, one hand grenade, revolvers and cash from them besides tons of incriminating documents, CD's and pen-drives,” Pasricha said.
But Vishnu and Vikram’s lawyer Mahruk Adenwalla claims that the two have been framed because of their interest in Salwa Judum or the people's movement.
“How can a person walk on the street with all the arms that they claim to have caught from them? They are being framed for being involved in people's movements and opposing the government on various issues like SEZ,” Adenwalla said.
The police claim the men had made the city a base for their operations but the stories of their arrests do not match. While the police claim to have arrested them from Govandi, Vikram says he was picked up from Andheri.
And that's not all, third degree methods applied on them were apparent when they took off their masks in court. “Third degree has been applied and they have been tortured,” Adenwalla said.
As the case comes up for hearing on August 23 the bigger question is that is Mumbai under the Naxal shadow or is it an effort by the police to nip the growing Naxal tide.