In what is claimed to be a major breakthrough, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has nabbed seven Telangana-based Maoists living in Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district, an official said in Mumbai on Saturday.
Acting on a tip-off that a Maoist cadre was reaching Kalyan in adjoining Thane district by train on Friday, an ATS team detained him for routine enquiries, but he could not provide satisfactory replies.
Thereafter, the ATS team said that he was subjected to sustained questioning when he revealed that he and his colleagues from Mumbai's northern suburbs like Kamraj Nagar, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar and Vikhroli were members of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist.
Immediately on learning this, the ATS formed several teams and searched the homes of his associates. During these searches, they stumbled upon incriminating documents and subsequently arrested six more people, they told reporters.
The accused are aged between 30-50 years and mostly hail from different towns in Telangana like Karimnagar and Nalgonda, but were presently living in suburban Mumbai.
The ATS said that Maoists have declared parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat as a 'Golden Corridor' for propagating their ideology and spread their movement in the industrial zones.
The main accused and his accomplices were working in the 'Golden Corridor' to spread their ideology and lure people to their organization, besides being in touch with Left Wing Extremist cadres in the forests.
All those nabbed - whose identity has not been revealed - have been booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Aact by Mumbai ATS and sent to police custody till January 16.
Meanwhile, further investigations are underway.
Last month, Top Maoist leader Ginugu Narsimha Reddy alias Jampanna surrendered before the Telangana police chief, following ideological differences with the Maoist outfit.
The Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist, who was carrying a Rs 25 lakh reward on his head and his wife Hinge Anitha alias Rajitha, who was also active in the outfit, laid down the arms before Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy.
Jampanna, (55), said they decided to leave the organization and join the national mainstream as many social changes have taken place in the country in the last 15 years.