Free Press Journal

Maharashtra ATS nabs two top Maoist leaders



Pune: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad has nabbed two top Maoist leaders from a hospital on the outskirts of Pune, an official said on Saturday. The two were identified as K. Muralidharan (62), alias Thomas Joseph, hailing from Kerala’s Ernakulam and Ismail Hamza Chiragpilli (29) alias James Mathew of Mallapuram in the same state.

The arrests were made early Friday from Morya Hospital in Talegaon following a tip-off and the two were on Saturday produced before Additional Sessions Judge S.V. Mane who sent them to police custody for a week. The ATS has claimed Muralidharan is a close associate of top Maoist leader Ganapathy, and Chiragpilli is his trusted aide.

Both Muralidharan and Chiragpilli lived in Pune under fake identities and the investigators are ascertaining since how long they were. Charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the two were brought to the court with their faces covered under heavy security escort.

The media was barred from attending the hearing on grounds of security and police said they would be briefed later.