In an ominous development, Pakistan's ISI is making attempts to establish contacts with Naxals with the help of underworld don Chota Shakeel for carrying out subversive activities in the country and six people have been arrested so far in this connection.
Police forces in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh assisted by central security agencies in a swift operation, arrested four persons from AP and two from Bangalore. A sum of Rs 25 lakh meant for distribution to Naxals mainly in Andhra Pradesh was also seized from them, official sources said on Thursday.
According to officials privy to the operations, ISI-- Pakistan's deadly intelligence agency--had contacted Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed alias Chota Shakeel, who is at present holed up in Pakistan. The underworld don, wanted in many cases in India, got in touch with a person identified as Altaf, alleged to be one of his touts and a resident in Karnataka, for establishing contacts with Naxals in these two states.
Altaf alias Rakesh got in touch with a person named Vinay who had promised him to introduce him to some prominent Naxalite leader from Andhra Pradesh, the sources said. Making attempts to nip in bud any subversive motive, the Andhra Pradesh police closely monitored the activities of Vinay and in a discreet probe, it was found that he had received Rs 25 lakh through hawala channel from Altaf in Dubai as a token amount to forge a long term relationship.
Police have arrested another person Shreedhar and three more associates from Andhra Pradesh while Vinay along with one of his accomplice was arrested from Karnataka. All the six people were being interrogated, the sources said. During investigations, the arrested people claimed that they were planning to visit Dubai and meet Altaf alias Rakesh to build ties between ISI and Naxals and extract as much money as they could, the officials claimed.
Vinay is claimed to have told the investigators that Altaf had conveyed to him that ISI was willing to pump in money for Left wing extremism provided they could establish right contacts. This could be followed with supply of arms and ammunition, the sources said. Police have seized their passports stamped with a Visa for Dubai and an air ticket, the sources said.
The country is facing Naxal problem in around 15 states. ISI had earlier made an attempt to woo the naxalites but could not make any headway. The latest development is seen as a fresh effort by ISI to take the help of underworld to pump in money for Naxalities.