Couple held for slavery in UK are former Maoists: UK media

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Couple held for slavery in UK are former Maoists: UK media
London, Nov 26: In a shocking revelation, British media has let out the names of the elderly Indian-origin man and his wife, both former Maoist activists, who were held by UK cops for allegedly keeping three women as slaves in his London home for 30 years. 

According to the police, the women had suffered years of "physical and mental abuse".

BBC news said 73-year-old Aravindan Balakrishnan and his 67-year-old wife Chanda, according to Marxist archives, were prominent figures at the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre based in Acre Lane, Brixton, south London, in the 1970s.

The women and the couple lived together as a "collective" after two of the women met the man through a "shared political ideology". 

Their flat in London was raided by police and five people, including the couple, were arrested. 

The couple has been linked to 13 addresses across London, said the Metropolitan police. Police carried out inquiries in and around Peckford Place, Brixton, where the women were rescued, it said. 

The three alleged victims, a 30-year-old Briton, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 69-year-old Malaysian, are now in the care of a non-governmental organisation following their rescue last month, the report said.

The brother of the Malaysian woman said as a student, she was very brilliant and had even won a commonwealth scholarship for higher studies. She and her fiance moved to London during the time of increasing social unrest with growing protests about the war in Vietnam.

They were drawn to an organization called the Malaysian and Singaporean Students Forum (Mass), one of the more extremist Maoist groups operating in London, which was headed by Aravindan Balakrishnan and Chanda. They were known as 'comrades' among the followers.

The leftist couple was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of being involved in forced labour and slavery.They have also been arrested for immigration offences. They have been released on bail until January.

Police said they were of Indian and Tanzanian origin and came to the UK in the 1960s. They were previously arrested in the 1970s, but it is not known if they were charged.

Thirty-seven officers from the Metropolitan police' human trafficking unit are working on the case.

Oneindia News

(With agency inputs)

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