SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Chhattisgarh police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested a key Maoist operative who was allegedly acting as a spokesperson of the outlawed Communist Party of India (CPI -Maoist) and also engaged in propaganda for the extremist outfit through social media.

Police claimed that the accused Abhay Devdas Nayak’s name surfaced for the first time as a Maoist spokesperson in 2017 after an improvised explosive device (IED) was recovered in Darbha region of Bastar along with some Maoist literature and pamphlets from the spot.

“Abhay Devdas Nayak alias Lodda who hails from Bengaluru, was under scanner of Bastar police and state intelligence branch (SIB) for last one-and-a-half years. He is from the team of urban Naxal wing and was engaged in propaganda. He was arrested from Delhi airport on June 1 and kept under police remand,” said special director general of police (Anti-Naxal Operations) DM Awasthi, adding that a lookout notice was issued against him in 2017.

The police also said that Nayak has links with alleged Maoist sympathisers, including Rona Wilson and Soma Sen, who were recently arrested by Pune police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence in January this year.

The police claimed that Abhay was active on social media and was propagating Maoist ideology through his writings and blogs.

Awasthi said Nayak’s interrogation had revealed that he was influenced by the writings and exploits of late Saket Ranjan, the Karnataka state committee secretary of the CPI(Maoist), during his studies.

The police claimed that in 2008 Abhay started a micro-finance company, named ‘India Micro Finance Company’ and started a blog, also named after the company, to cover up his nefarious activities.

Police said their probe against Nayak had also revealed huge money transaction in his company’s account. “We are investigating each and every transaction and from which country the funds have been transferred,” said Awasthi.

The special DGP said Nayak had visited 15 countries, including Belgium , France, UK, Mexico , Ecuador, Bolivia , Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia , Russia and Nepal to garner funds and support for the Maoists. Nayak is also said to have visited Maoist hotbed Bastar twice, police said.

The police have seized laptops, pen drives, hard disks and Maoist literature that show his links with Maoist leaders and sympathisers in India and abroad.

“We have lots of more information and inputs which he revealed during quizzing but we are working on it and soon some more arrests could take place,” added Awasthi