In what is being seen as a major breakthrough for the police of four southern states, a top Maoist leader, wanted in at least 20 cases in Kerala, his wife and three others have been arrested in Tamil Nadu.
Roopesh, a law graduate, and his wife Shyna are from Kerala and have evaded arrest for over 10 years, the police said late last night. They were arrested on Monday following a joint operation undertaken by Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police.
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala confirmed the development last night.
Chennithala said this was a “big breakthrough” and could be achieved due to ‘co-ordinated’ efforts of the four state governments.
“At least five Maoists have been arrested. For the past two months, police of Andhra, Karnataka Kerala and Tamil Nadu were undertaking joint operations to nab them,” he said.
“The Maoists are being questioned. Roopesh will be brought to Kerala,” he said.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened along the Tamil Nadu- Kerala border following the arrest of five hardcore Maoists. The rural police have deployed more than 300 armed personnel at banks, police stations and checkposts on the Tamil Nadu- Kerala border in view of the development.
“We have tightened the security in the border areas. We think Maoists may attack one of the police stations or banks in the border areas. So we deployed armed police personnel,” a senior police was quoted as saying.
A report from Coimbatore, quoting police sources, said front-ranking Maoist leaders Roopesh and his wife Shina, were arrested near Karumathampatti, about 25 km from Coimbatore.