Red corridor could stretch to north-east

7 Dec
KOLKATA/GUWAHATI: Maoists have links with secessionist groups in the north-east, interrogation of Maoist military strategist Kishenji’s chief lieutenant Sudip Chongdar, alias Kanchan, has revealed. The Kolkata police’s special task force (STF), which is interrogating Kanchan and four of his aides, have learnt that Maoists in West Bengal received a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Manipur’s People’s Revolutionary Party Of Kanglaipak (Prepak).

STF chief Rajiv Kumar said, “the arrests of Maoist leaders, including the state secretary of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Kanchan, has helped us to gather some key information about Maoists links with separatist forces based in Assam and Manipur.” The arms and ammunition received from Prepak has also been distributed in Jharkhand and Orissa, Kumar said. He declined to part with more details at this stage of the investigation.

Intelligence officials in Assam acknowledged that several top Maoist leaders from West Bengal and Bihar met militant outfits of the north-east and discussed strategies for forging alliance.

Assam police had arrested Nur Bhadur Basnet from Udalguri while trying to enter Baska district. Nur is a hardcore Maoist from Nepal. Nur had come to the residence of Kishore Newa, another Maoist rebel, and had planned to travel to the US, intelligence officials said.

Apart from Nur, several Maoists were nabbed in different operations in Assam. Even two years ago, Assam police had arrested two operatives from the Indo-Bhutan border areas.

“Maoist are looking to forge alliance with Ulfa and other militant outfits. They are attempting to make inroads in tribal areas and tea gardens where tribal population is high. As far as our information goes, Ulfa and Maoist leaders have met several times, but there is no working relation between the two,” a senior official in the intelligence wing said.

But Maoists have already established links with extremist Adivasi Peoples Army (APA) in Assam and the Revolutionary Peoples Front (RPF) of Manipur, according to the intelligence sources.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in the last two meetings of the National Development Council had made a point about Maoist and Left wing extremism. He said Assam did not have any border with Nepal, yet the nexus between Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) and CPI (Maoist) has been a matter of serious concern.

“My state cannot afford to be complacent to the growing menace as Left wing extremist organisations trying to influence the sizeable Adivasi population through two militant organisations, namely Adivasi Cobra Militant and Birsa Commando Force, who have been demanding ST status for Adivasis in Assam, protection to life and properties of Adivasis and employment opportunities for Adivasi youth. These two outfits with about 600 trained cadres have a ceasefire agreement with the government of Assam,” the chief minister said.

“It is necessary that special programmes for development of the backward and remote areas, including border areas, are undertaken. I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to request the chairman of National Development Council, to extend the critical infrastructure development scheme meant for the Left wing extremism-affected areas to the affected districts of Assam also, so that funds are provided exclusively for these districts to meet the infrastructure gaps,” Gogoi had said.

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