Series of Naxal Attacks Haunt Bihar; BJP Demands Govt Action
In another attack this week, Naxals fired at a police camp in Bihar’s Jamui district on Friday, killing one Special Task Force (STF) jawan and injuring two others. According to reports, Naxals in the area also blew up a police camp that was under construction. “The Naxals left the guards. There was an exchange of fire between the Naxals and police. A combing operation has been launched in the entire region and a hunt for the Naxals is on,” Jamui SP Jitender Rana told PTI.
Reacting to the news, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussein tweeted, “Naxals are becoming bolder by the day in Bihar. Fight against naxals must be taken on priority basis. Bihar govt must act tough.” Friday’s attack comes two days after Maoists opened fire at a patrol party in Amarut village of Gaya district. Two jawans of the Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) force were killed in the attack.
Maoists deflect from Mao, eye urban inroads
In variance with Mao Tse Tung’s strategic dictum of ‘taking the countryside first and then circling the urban centres’, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has started eyeing the urban areas of working class discontent– among the working class (both organised and unorganised sector), students, unemployed youth and intellectuals–to spread their influence. The ‘urban policy’ has also been given the thumbs-up during the party’s Central Committee meeting for 2013 held somewhere in the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border.
While security and intelligence agencies had indicated the ‘presence’ of Maoist elements across many major towns and cities of India including New Delhi, their ‘influence’ was always under doubt. “The idea is to ramp up the ‘influence’ now, to replenish the urban network. This is a ‘tactical’ effort to get forces of urban discontent together on the basis of a common workable understanding,” said a top security official engaged in formulating policy against the Maoist movement and who spoke on condition of anonymity. Latest intelligence reports already speak of systematic efforts being made to infiltrate labour organisations in the national capital region in order to spread the ‘influence’. “Maoists have reached a certain saturation point or plateau in the rural and forest areas. Beyond this point there is no scope to expand or increase influence. That is why they have turned their attention to urban areas now,” said PV Ramana, research fellow and an expert on the Maoist movement at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.
Traditionally, tribal communities in dense forested areas across central India have been the usual mainstay of the Maoists for support, shelter and cadres. Moreover, the inaccessibility and remoteness facilitated construction of bases for weapons training and ideological indoctrination. On the other hand, the movement found fertile ground among the tribals whose angst, due to a long history of being exploited against as well as a strong sense of being wronged, got largely channelized into the Maoist movement. The CPI (Maoist) urban areas plan first found focus in September 2007 when the Urban Sub Committee (USCO) prepared an “urban perspective plan” but which was not given urgent importance.
The issue became a contentious one with consequent dissent from the state committees in West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha. Indian Maoists are not known to be great sticklers to Mao’s strategy. While Mao was never too keen on the efficacy of mounting spectacular strikes during the initial stages of the movement, it is something that their Indian counterparts have not followed.
Maoists aim to tap popular unrest against economic policies
NEW DELHI: Worried over erosion of their support base, area of operation and difficulty in making fresh recruits, the Maoists hope to utilize the growing unrest in the country due to implementation of neo-liberal policies and a weak economy to revive the flagging fortunes of their people’s war. In what could be good news for the government and security forces, Maoists admitted at their the 4th central committee (CC) meeting held recently that the Indian State damaged their central weapon manufacturing and supply departments, political and military intelligence units, central magazine department and their international department between 2009 and 2012.
This was when the Centre had launched joint forces operations simultaneously across Maoist-hit states. It is well-known that Maoists feed on popular grievances to strengthen their protracted armed struggle to overthrow the Indian government. While admitting their movement is facing a crisis, the Maoist leadership resolved to exploit the grievances among people and rally them against the government. The Maoist CC believed “outdated semi-feudal, semi-colonial production relations in our country are making people’s lives unbearable”. Maoist leaders are following the “the manner which people all over the world are waging movements in various forms as major contradictions in the world are intensifying due to economic crisis of capitalist-imperialist countries”. The leadership plans to use this “favourable material condition” to revive the Maoist movement. In rural and urban areas, they seek to rally people on their daily issues and against the imperialists, especially the US and the Indian ruling class.
Besides, the Maoist movement would focus on land, jal-jungle-zameen issues and displacement. While stressing on agrarian revolutionary programmes, the CC noted, “We should not confine to secret and illegal activities in this class struggle and utilize united front activities, open and legal struggle and organizational forms to rally vast masses (students, youth, employees and other petty bourgeois sections and various oppressed sections). The Maoists plan to strengthen its People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), intensify and expand guerrilla warfare, revolutionize the people ideologically and politically and take up politically-offensive tactics.
The CC though warned the Maoist cadres against use of tactics and practices that could isolate them from the people and make them a target of attack by Indian security forces. According to the CC, “Keeping in view… the favourable material condition which is still present, we should rally our subjective forces creatively and strive hard to sustain/gain initiative.” The leaders noted, “Tactics are formulated basing on the favourable and unfavourable conditions in the contemporary material and subjective situation.” While noting that sectarian and bureaucratic trends are harming the party, the CC urged cadres to correct shortcomings in supply and use of war materials, dumping and preservation.