SURAT: Surat rural police on Wednesday arrested 62-year-old Tushar alias Kanti alias Shreekant alias Prakashji Harnath Bhattacharya in connection with a sedition case registered against him at Kamrej police station in 2010.
Bhattacharya was handed over to special operations group (SOG) of rural police by Gujarat anti terrorist squad (ATS). On a tip-off, Bhattacharya was nabbed from a train at Durg railway station in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday by the ATS. He had gone to meet his sister in Kolkata and while returning to Nagpur he was nabbed, sources said.
Surat rural police has already arrested 22 persons in 2010 in the case registered in Kamrej police station. Bhattacharya and others were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including criminal conspiracy, waging war against nation, sedition, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act and others.
Initially police did not name any accused, but during course of investigation, the naxal sympathizers and conspirators were arrested. The accused later got bail from Gujarat high court.
Originally, a resident of SPM Colony in Shirpur in Adilabad of Andhra Pradesh, Bhattacharya was living in Nagpur with his wife Shoma Sen, an activist and head of department of English in R T M Nagpur University. She alleged on Tuesday that Gujarat police kidnapped her husband under mysterious circumstances.
Police investigation has so far revealed that Bhattacharya conducted awareness classes in Surat in 2004 and shared information about naxal activities. He is suspected to have played major role in creating sleeper cell for naxal activities in south Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra.
Apart from Bhattacharya, Surat police is yet to arrest Kobad Ghandy, Anand Ambedkar and Seema alias Manju Hirani, two top operatives of naxal outfits. “It is an important arrest in the case. We are trying to get the custody of Ghandy, who is currently in jail. Cops of some states are also wanting Ghandy’s custody,” additional director general of police, Surat range, Shamsher Singh said.
“Police have arrested Bhattacharya and we will seek his custody for questioning on Thursday,” said Nirlipt Rai, superintendent of police Surat rural.