Red splinter group claims access to Latehar villages

LATEHAR: Splinter groups of the CPI (Maoist) are getting stronger in different parts of the state ever since the launch of Operation Green Hunt and Integrated Action Plan.

Armed cadres of the Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC) could be seen roaming freely in the forest villages of Latehar district, especially in the areas dominated by the Maoist cadres in the past. TSPC leaders claim that it is because of the popular support to their ideology and disillusionment of villagers with the Maoist movement that they are not just being allowed to enter but are also welcomed in the villages. However, the Maoists claim that all the splinter groups enjoy covert support of the security agencies which helps them operate and roam about in the villages freely.

Alok ji, a senior leader of the TSPC, said they were protesting against the Maoists on ideological grounds and gained popularity among the villagers who wanted a change in the system. “The Maoists called frequent bandhs bringing economic activities in the villages to standstill. When they understand that fight for neo-democracy is a long-drawn battle, there is no logic behind the bandh calls,” he said. The TSPC also questions the Maoists strategy to extort money in development work and their resistance to road construction projects. “We are living with the villagers and if we stop the administration from carrying out road construction and other development work, the villagers will be adversely affected,” Alok said.

Asked if they enjoy police support for driving away the Maoists, Alok said even their men were often arrested. Records available with Latehar police shows that since January 2012 as against the arrest of 24 Maoists from the district, three armed cadres of the TSPC were arrested. Police claim that activity and strength of the TSPC is far below the Maoists and hence fewer people are arrested.

The TSPC which has made efforts to spread its base at the country-level is dominant in Bihar and Jharkhand where Marxist communist Centre (MCC) was active in the 80s and 90s. The TSPC parted ways with MCC and the later merged with People’s War in 2004 to form the CPI (Maoists). Strength of the TSPC increased which is evident from the fact that the cadres have got around 2,000 acre of land released from the clutches of Maoists in Latehar and Lohardaga, distributing it to the farmers.

Spokesperson for the Bihar, Jharkhand, north Chhatisgarh special area committee of the Maoists Gopal said the state administration supported all such splinter groups to use their cadre strength and fire power against the Maoists. “We announced unilateral ceasefire against different groups who claim to be working for democratic rights of common people for three months to expose their real nature to the people,” he said. The BJSAC also asked the splinter groups to join hands with the Maoists to fight against the reactionary forces of the state administration and abstain from hitting each other.

The call for ceasefire was extended in July this year which got mixed response. The Maoists claim that the splinter groups failed to respond to their call because of police support that they enjoy. “They would not like to annoy the security forces by supporting our movement and be on their target,” said a Maoist leader.

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