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JNU student arrested in Naxal area, carried 'coded info': Police

Author: Vivek Deshpande 
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: August 25, 2013
URL:   http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/jnu-student-arrested-in-naxal-area-carried--coded-info--police/1159712/

Hem Mishra, the JNU student arrested in Gadchiroli, was carrying "coded" information from "top academic circles" in New Delhi to be delivered to the CPM Central Committee in Maad area of Chhattisgarh, sources told The Sunday Express.

Mishra, an alleged Naxal courier, was arrested along with two others on Thursday night by the Gadchiroli police in Maharashtra for alleged links with the ultras.

According to sources, Mishra (32) travelled from New Delhi to Gadchiroli's Aheri town for the mission a few days ago. The police gained intelligence about his movement from sources and were keeping an eye on the town. They managed to apprehend three suspects — Mishra, Mahesh Tirki and Pandu Narote — from Aheri's bus stand, sources said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravidra Kadam said the three have been remanded in police custody for 10 days.

Sources said "the coded information was being carried in a micro-chip that was embedded in a visiting card and it may take days for the police to decode it".

They added that the information had come from top academic circles in New Delhi, where Maoists is alleged to have their ideological base.

It is gathered that Mishra, who hails from Uttarakhand, was a regular courier for top Naxal leaders.

He is enrolled in the BA (Chinese) course in the School of Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies in JNU.

It is alleged that a well-entrenched courier network has been the mainstay of Naxal communication for more than three decades. But ever since security operations were intensified, it has been severely affected, police said.

"The coded information was to be taken to (CPM Special Zonal Committee member) Narmadakka, who was supposed to take it to Central Committee members who have been confined to the impregnable Maad area because of security operations," a police source said.

The police said "secret" Naxal documents and money to be delivered to Narmadakka was also recovered from Mishra.

As soon as Mishra was arrested, news spread in Maoist circles as well as among his friends in New Delhi and other cities through social networking sites.

In a statement, the Revolutionary Democratic Front condemned the "arbitrary arrest of cultural and student activist Hem Mishra by the Maharashtra State Police".

"No information regarding his current whereabouts has been provided to his family and friends," RDF President Varavara Rao said.

JNU Students Union president V Lenin Kumar said the issue of Mishra being a 'Maoist courier' is debatable and the union will take a decision only after there is more clarity.

"I have been on JNU campus since 2007 and I have never heard of any such activity on the campus," Lenin said.
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