Naxal threat: Real & growing

The Naxalites are crowding over Karnataka. Days after the Intelligence Bureau warned of Naxalites setting up bases on the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, an official from the state’s Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) told Deccan Chronicle that the rebels from Tamil Nadu are now trying to join their comrades in Karnataka.

“We suspect that the Naxals from Tamil Nadu are trying to strengthen the movement in Karnataka.

During the last three raids, which also saw gunfights in Chikmagalur, we have come across Tamil newspapers and material that were left behind by the Naxalites. We are getting the texts translated to see if the Naxalites have any other hidden agenda and links,” said a member of the Anti-Naxal Force.

It is believed that the Naxal force in the state has grown from 20-30 in 2007 to around 40 now.

Rumours over the death of Naxal woman leader Hosagadde Prabha too have not affected the recruitment drive of the Naxals.

The new leader Krishnamurthy is trying to gain sympathy from the tribesmen living inside the Kudremukh Tiger Reserve. Two months ago, the Naxals put up posters in villages around Kudremukh, saying the government should stop eviction of forest dwellers.

The officer said the Naxal movement in the state would not turn as ugly as it is in Chhattisgarh because the ANF has been conducting regular raids and eliminating Naxal leaders, not allowing them to regroup.

The officer said the ANF has decided to increase the duration of combing operations from 24 hours to 48. A team of 10 ANF personnel are combing and camping inside the jungles of Chikmaglur and Udupi districts to fight out the Naxals.

“There are rumors that many Naxals have taken up jobs at coffee estates. To improve the intelligence-gathering network, we have included the civil police into ANF. Now the team will camp inside the forest to watch the movement of Naxals,” said the ANF member.

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