news Monday, May 04, 2015 - 05:30
In a major breakthrough for security forces, one of Kerala's most wanted maoist leaders, Roopesh alias Praveen and his wife PA Shyna have been arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police in an operation held at Coimbatore. Roopesh, Shyna and three others have been arrested by the police. The former CPI (Maoist) State Secretary, who was heading the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army has been in hiding for many years, after he and his wife were  accused of harbouring Maoist leader Malla Raji Reddy, who was arrested from Angamali in 2007. Roopesh is a law graduate, while his wife was an upper division clerk at the Kerala High Court. Roopesh had worked in the students' organization of the CPI-ML (Red Flag), later with the CPI-ML (Janasakthi) and then went on to become an active member of the CPI-ML (Peoples War). Though he was a member of the CPI (Maoist) from the time of its inception in Kerala, he was moved out as State Secretary in early 2011.  In 2007, the duo went underground after Reddy and his wife were arrested from Angamaly. In 2008, Shyna had written to then Chief Minister VS Achutanandan and said, “Your power and police have made me a Maoist. You have given me the political will to involve in political activities instead of just being an ideological sympathiser." The couple were accused of harbouring Reddy and wife in their home, a laptop belonging to Reddy was recovered from their house later, according to police records. Reddy, a Central Committee Member had himself been on the run for 30 years, and was wanted in many cases, including the murder of Sripada Rao, former speaker of Andhra Pradesh assembly in 1999. Roopesh, a native of Thrissur district, had been leading the Maoist movement in Kerala, according to police. Recently. it was reported that a new women's wing called the 'Bhavani Wing' was started under Shyna's leadership. In 2014, Roopesh had released a video to the media in which he said that the guerillas had the support of common people, especially farmers and adivasis. He had called for an armed revolution. Clad in a khaki uniform and holding a gun, Roopesh had then heavily criticised efforts like Salwa Judum and Kerala police's Janamaithri police as civilian militia mobilisation. Roopesh, who according to police sources was in charge of the movement in Western Ghat region has been actively travelling between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He was one of the few Maoist leaders from Kerala who openly called for armed revolution, and with his arrest the Kerala police is hoping to get information about how the chain operates.  Recently, Kerala has seen a spurt of attacks by Maoists, in various parts of the state. Though the attacks have largely been on a small scale, the government has been under tremendous pressure to crackdown on Maoists. On the other hand, activists have accused that some of the attacks have been stage managed by the government, to simply target Maoist leaders and dissenting voices. According to reports, the Tamil Nadu police was let in on the operation details only at the last moment when the AP police asked for their assistance. The five arrested are expected to be brought to Kerala for questioning.  Video of PN15-JX45Y8

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