Maoist comeback: Sushil Kumar Shinde overrules assessment by security establishment
NEW DELHI: Maoists could make a comeback in the new Telangana state, but a ‘political’ home minister in Sushil Kumar Shinde has overruled this assessment of his security establishment, taking a stand that Telangana was a political call and the government will now have to counter the Naxalite threat if it arose. With the Cabinet giving a go-ahead to Telangana, the prospect of Naxals resurging in the new state seems the biggest challenge confronting the security agencies. A recent seized Naxal document of the proceedings of the 4th Central Committee meeting of CPI (Maoist) held earlier this year confirms that Naxals had backed the movement for a separate Telangana. “There are several potentialities for the (Naxal) movement to advance…in Telangana, the movement for a separate state is developing in militant forms,” the document reviewed by ET says.
An MHA official said eight of the 10 districts in the proposed Telangana — Adilabad, Karimnag ar, Khammam, Mahaboobnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad and Warangal — are designated Left-Wing Extremism affected areas and hence covered under the ministry’s security related expenditure scheme. The senior home ministry official said Shinde, however, was clear that once a “political decision” has been taken at the level of the Congress Working Committee, the home ministry’s initial objections on security grounds “do not stand”. “The Naxal problem is there. But Andhra Pradesh is one state where we have done excellent work in curbing Naxalism. I am quite confident that even after the formation of Telangana, they will completely cut down the activities of Naxalites,” Shinde said on Friday.
Even the Srikrishna report in 2011 had said that the state, if formed, will become an epicentre for Maoist violence. Ajay Sahani, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management, said Maoists are expected to revive in the short-term but could fail to make a permanent comeback. “…given the social and economic conditions in Telangana with some of the development parameters here being even better than coastal Andhra, it will be difficult for Maoists to sustain in the region.”
Government identifies 128 front organizations for Naxals
New Delhi: The government has identified 128 organizations across the country as so-called front organizations operating on behalf of the Communist Party of India-Maoist that’s spearheading the Naxal insurgent movement in India. According to an internal report prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), portions of which Mint has reviewed, these entities are present in 16 states, even relatively unaffected ones—indicating the spread and latent threat of the insurgency. The Maoist rebellion is believed to have affected 82 of India’s more than 650 districts.
These bodies are active even in states such as Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh (UP) that have seen little or no Naxal-related violence, said a home ministry official, declining to be identified. The report has identified two such organizations each in these states. “During the recent relief operations in flood-hit regions of Uttarakhand, we noticed these front organizations were active. This was surprising because the state has no previous association with the Naxal movement,” the official said. In June, several hill districts of Uttarakhand were flooded following heavy rainfall, and 6,000-10,000 people are believed to have perished. States that haven’t traditionally suffered Naxal-linked violence but figure in the report are Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.
Overall, these organizations are active in Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand and Kerala, according to the report. The portions of the report Mint has seen contain the names of all these entities. Such organizations for the CPI-Maoist have been visible in Uttarakhand and parts of UP for the past eight-nine years, said Ajai Sahni, executive director at New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management. “They (the Maoists) have had a significant number of sympathizers in these states, but the very fact that they have been around for such time and have not had any mass mobilization means they have not been very successful in these areas,” he said.
“In case of Uttarakhand, several cultural factors and the fact that practically every family sends people to the armed forces would make it difficult for them to operate there.” On 22 August last year, former junior home minister Jitendra Singh said in Rajya Sabha that several organizations sympathetic to the Naxal movement had staged protests during the labour unrest at the Manesar plant of carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. “Subsequent to the incident (violence at Maruti Manesar plant), a number of front organizations of the banned CPI-Maoists, as well as bodies sympathetic to the outfit such as the Mehnatkash Mazdoor Morcha, Democratic Students’ Union, People’s Democratic Front of India and the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, have organized demonstrations supporting the cause of the workers of the Maruti factory,” a Press Trust of India report cited the minister as saying. Singh had, however, said there was no input to suggest the violent incidents at the plant were initiated by these organizations.
In November, the chief secretary of Haryana said there was no Maoist involvement in the incident at the Maruti plant. The IB report lists 17 such organizations operating in Jharkhand, 13 in Andhra Pradesh, 12 in Karnataka, 10 each in Bihar and Odisha, nine each in Delhi, Maharashtra and Bengal, eight in Haryana, six in Chhattisgarh, four each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and three in Gujarat. The home ministry official quoted earlier said these bodies had been linked to CPI-Maoist by verifiable associations of their cadres with known Naxal operatives. “There are typically two major ways in which some of these linkages have been established—by monitoring call records or movements of mobile phones, or by money transfer trails that have been established,” the official said.
The bodies include student unions, youth organizations, lawyers’ groups, peasant and workers associations, women’s organizations and tribal bodies. Some of these such as the Andhra Pradesh Revolutionary Writers Association have been banned by state governments. Sahni disputes the government’s claim that it has found verifiable money trails linking the organizations to the Naxal movement. “If the government has verifiable trails, why does it not go and arrest these people? Most of their money comes not from these fringe areas but from the core military areas that they control,” he said. “In fact, some of these organizations are NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that are raising legitimate issues, say on behalf of labourers and slum-dwellers and giving them legal aid. So, it is very difficult for the government to control them.”
Maoists not losing strength, intelligence report says
RANCHI: The Left-wing extremists in Jharkhand have carried out fewer attacks in state till September 15 this year. However, all of them were severe and had great impact, says state intelligence that feels there is no reason to think that the rebels are losing strength. The ferocity of the rebels has surprised the central agencies, who have asked the state police to be more alert so that they can thwart the nefarious designs of the extremists. The intelligence bureau has reported that a total of 270 rebel attacks have taken place in Jharkhand since January till September 15.
The number of Red attacks in the same period last year was 370. The data was presented at a meeting organized by the Maoist division of the Union home ministry recently. DGP Rajiv Kumar confirmed the statistics and said, “The figures were collected by the sources of the intelligence bureau and not by the state police.” Less number of Red attacks was not the least surprising for the cops. “It is a result of extensive anti-Maoist operations, which are going on in various parts of the state. More operations have been started in the past one year,” said Kumar. The state intelligence, however, does not take the recent decline in the number of Maoist attacks at face value. It is also not ready to believe that the ultras have lost their strength. Though the incidents have been fewer, they have left deep scars. “If we consider the Latehar incident in January and the attack on the Pakur SP convoy in July, the rebels have been successful in damaging morale,” said a police officer in the police headquarters. Police spokesperson S N Pradhan agreed. “The rebels’ organizations have got scattered and are disoriented. Even then they have been able to strike and it is a matter of concern,” said Pradhan.
The intelligence bureau has warned Jharkhand police that the rebels are exploring new geographies. The forces have occupied places which they once used as dens in several parts of the state. The Maoists continued to move to newer geographies as police continued to enter and occupy their places. In this manner, the Reds have spread their tentacles into almost all 24 districts and in 18 of them they have powerful presence. Pakur was a rather new area for the ultras where they killed the SP and six jawans in July. “We frequently organize combing operations in the areas where we suspect that the rebels are making an inroad. It will be taken care of,” said Kumar.
Maoists kill villager in Jharkhand’s Palamau District
Palamau District (Jharkhand) Oct.7 (ANI): Maoists have killed a villager in Jharkhand’s Palamau District. According to district police officials, Kameshwar Bhuiya was attacked and killed by at least 10 to 15 Maoists at around 9 p.m.on Sunday. Assistant Superintendent of Police P Murugan said a case has been registered, but the Maoists had fled from the area. Bhuiya was killed by Maoists in Bhuiya Tola of Hazaribagh village which comes under the Hariharganj police station,” said Murugan.
Four naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: Four naxalites were arrested on Sunday during a search operation in Maoist-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, police said. The cadres were nabbed during a combing operation by personnel of the BSF (Border Security Force) and district force in the forests near Vala village under Koyalibeda police station limits, Kanker Additional Superintendent of Police CD Tandon said.
Based on specific information regarding presence of naxals, an operation was launched this morning in the restive Koyalibeda forests, located about 200 kms away from the state capital Raipur, he said. On reaching near Vala village, security forces spotted some people fleeing into the jungles following which they rounded up them, he added. Those arrested were identified as – Prem Singh Kudo (35), Siyaram Gawde (28), Jaising Nareti (26) and Anesh Usendi (21) who were allegedly active as sangham members of Maoist in north Bastar. They were wanted in cases of loot, arson, attacks on police party, arms act and others, Tandon said. The arrested are being interrogated, he added.