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Ultra-Left eyeing the Dabbawalas?

 
Anupam Dasgupta
Thursday, June 07, 2007 08:35 IST


The pen drive seized from alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira contained information about the operational details of the city’s dabbawalas, top officials of the anti-Naxalite unit of Maharashtra Police told DNA Wednesday.

Ferreira had been arrested from Nagpur on May 8, along with Murali alias Ashok Reddy, a Naxalite divisional commander. The dabbawalas have strongly reacted to their trade having anything to do with police and security affairs. Raghunath Dhondiba Medage, president of dabbawalas’ association, said, “Ours is a clean and totally transparent system. We don’t tolerate anything even remotely suspicious.”

Anti-Naxalite unit officials have communicated the development to higher-ups in the Home department.

Read latest news at DNA
What intrigued the police and security officials was the “interest” of the Naxalite-Maoist cadre in the functioning of dabbawalas — a network which has access to almost every home in the city and suburbs.

“Ferreira’s pen drive contained information about how dabbawalas operated flawlessly within a systemic framework. The information is exhaustive and also lists how the system runs and makes profits,” said Pankaj Gupta, Special Inspector General of the anti-Naxalite unit.

Police claimed that Ferreira, a Bandra resident, was an active Maharashtra state committee member of the Communist Part of India (Maoist) and had considerable influence among the ultra-Left in the state. Other information contained in the pen -drive also revealed “his clear involvement” in the Naxalite-Maoist scheme of things, sources said.

“Information about this particular network (dabbawala) is a worrying development,” said Nagpur Police Commissioner SPS Yadav.

“Perhaps, the Naxalites were planning to infiltrate the dabbawala network and use it to their own advantage,” said a senior Intelligence official on condition of anonimity.
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