Kolkata: In what is being perceived as a major breakthrough for security agencies dealing with Maoists from neighbouring countries, the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has nabbed the mastermind who carried out a low intensity blast outside the Indian consulate at Biratnagar in Nepal on April 16.
The accused has been identified as Suresh Kumar Rai, alias Sagar Rai (62), a resident of Morangtanki Sinwari at Nemoa in Nepal and is the district secretary of CPN(ML) Red Star (Biplab Group). He was arrested from Delhi where he had fled after his links in this state were compromised.
“Immediately after the blast – where a pressure cooker blast was orchestrated – the accused had fled to Raiganj and then travelled to Kolkata. He has relatives at Raiganj who arranged for his stay in Bengal. The central agencies had tipped us off about him and we followed his trail before nabbing him a few days ago,” a senior STF official said.
STF claims Rai has a strong connection with the Red Star faction in India, currently accused of spearheading the Bhangor movement. Police said Rai’s brother was an active member of the India unit. “We know the arrest of Rai had not gone down well here, so much so that the wing tried arranging lawyers in his defence. These linkages will be looked into. Several of their activists, including one of their leaders, are likely to be summoned for this purpose,” an STF source said.
Rai and his team had planned the pressure-cooker bomb blast near the Indian embassy to intimidate embassy officials in Biratnagar even as they were busy preparing for Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s visit to Nepal, said sources. While his associates were arrested by Nepal police, Rai sneaked into India and was monitoring plans for fresh strikes at Indian installations, the sources claimed.
A senior STF official claimed Rai had confessed that his organisation had planned several other attacks on Indian establishments in Nepal.
Significantly, a couple of days back, another low-intensity blast took place near the power dam in Nepal that Modi is likely to visit this month. “We believe his (Rai’s) module is ready and have accordingly informed our counterparts in Nepal,” said a senior official at Lalbazar.