Naxal Violence: Is The CPI (Maoist) Fading? – Analysis
The CPI (Maoist), in its endeavour to increase its cadre strength, is now inviting police personnel to join their cadre. The Jharkhand police have recovered posters from several places in which the Maoists have appealed to the police, especially constables,to join their outfit and desert the police. The posters read, “Policemen keep away from the green hunt and try to be friends of poor. Police jawan, do not obey orders of the senior officials, instead join the people’s army.”(The Times of India, 10 October 2013). The Maoists have also begun to distribute pamphlets and put up posters in the interiors of the Maoist affected districts of other states to ask people to join their organisation. Does the clarion call of the CPI (Maoist) to join them indicate that the strength of the organisation is waning? Or is this admission just a deception for rejuvenation?
The killing of Cherikuri Rajkumar aka Azad in July 2010, Mallojula Koteswara Rao aka Kishenji in November 2011, and the arrest of senior leaders like Kobad Ghandy, Amitabh Bagchi and Saheb Chatterjee, has weakened the organisation over the past four years. In order to revitalise the Naxal Movement in the country, Muppalla Lakshmana Rao aka Ganapathy, the CPI (Maoist) general secretary, called on his comrades to free the Maoist leaders in custody through any legal or illegal means. Since their inception, the CPI (Maoist) admitted for the first time that they were facing a cadre crunch. Even while celebrating the ninth anniversary of their foundation day and the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War to form CPI (Maoist), the Maoists further revealed that their mass base, fighting abilities of their People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), and recruitment had all taken a significant hit. They admitted that the number of cadres deserting the party had also increased.
An 11-page document prepared by the Maoists after their central committee meeting earlier this year stated, “Under the present conditions our country-wide movement is weakened and facing a critical situation.” Numerically speaking, of the 16 members of the party’s politburo of 2007, two have been killed, and seven others have been arrested and are in jail. And of the 25 central committee members, twelve have been neutralised (eight in custody, two killed, one dead and one surrendered). The loss of important leaders has definitely caused a setback to the movement. It is also a fact that the PLGA strength is by and large still intact.
A Home Ministry report states that the Maoists are paying attention to preserving their core leadership, the 13-member Central Committee, which guides them. The Central Committee leaders of the CPI (Maoist) have been asked to stay inside the Dandakaranya forest which the Home Ministry officials admit is still beyond the reach of security forces. It would be unwise to see this as an admission of defeat by the Maoists. The CPI (Maoist) is well known for its tactics of deception.
The security agencies may be buoyant over the recruitment crunch that the Naxalites are facing, but reality presents a different perspective. While the security agencies are highlighting the depleting strength of Naxal dalams in the forests, a half yearly review of the Naxal movement by this author indicates that there a progressive consolidation of the movement took place during the first half of the year 2013. The review revealed that the first six months of 2013 were marked by Maoist resurgence through recruitments, holding of training camps, new geographical spread, and change of tactics in their approach.
Over the past four years, a decline in the number of Maoist affected districts has been noted. Also, the Maoists have had to face defeat in several of the newer ‘extension’ areas. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in October 2013 acknowledged that Naxalism has been on the decline since 2010, and claimed that the past year has seen a 28.48 percent reduction in violent incidents of Naxalism.“The number of incidents has declined from 2213 (with 1005 fatalities) in 2010 to 1415 incidents (with 415 fatalities) in 2012. In the current year (till 30 August 2013), there has been a 27.48 per cent reduction in number of incidents (with 14.10 per cent reduction in fatalities) in comparison to the corresponding period of 2012,” he added.
Despite these admitted defeats, reports of Maoists exerting efforts to set up bases in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been revealed by intelligence agencies.The Maoists, who are still India’s greatest internal security threat, have off-late intensified their operations in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and some areas of West Bengal, in their effort to rejuvenate the movement. Incidents like those in Latehar and Dumka districts of Jharkhand, Gaya district of Bihar, Darbha valley in Sukma district, Chhattisgarh and Koraput district, Odisha, somewhat indicate that future face-offs between the Maoists and the security forces will maintain the status quo.
Deepak Kumar Nayak Research Officer, IReS, IPCS
Anti-Naxal Squad office inaugurated
Superintendents of Police, Guntur Urban and Rural, Gopinath Jatty and J. Satyanarayana inaugurated the Anti-Naxal Squad (ANS) office on District Police Office premises here on Friday. About ten ANS parties will take up combing operations to prevent naxal activities in Guntur district. OSD to monitor An officer of the rank of Officer on Special Duty will monitor the ANS operations. The Guntur police, with the coordination of police from Prakasam and other neighbouring districts, will take up the anti-extremist operations in Vinukonda, Macherla, Dachepalli, Bollapalli, Gurajala, Rentachintala, Rajupalem and other mandals, said the police. Additional Superintendent of Police, Armed Reserve (AR) Srinivasa Rao, Urban AR Deputy Superintendent of Police Mehar Baba, Rural AR DSP Satyanarayana, and Reserve Inspectors were present.
Naxalism: Profile Of Deo Kumar Singh Alias Arvindji
The head of the CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand, Arvindji, is suspected to be hiding in Kumundih jungle in Latehar district of Jharkhand. The name reminds of the infamous CPI (Maoist) attack in Latehar district in which a total 16 personnel, including 12 jawans (11 from the Central Reserve Police Force and one from the state’s commando force, ‘Jharkhand Jaguars’) were killed in January 2013. It also reminds of the manner in which the Maoists placed the body of three CRPF jawans over landmines, and implanted photo-sensitive and pressure-release improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the abdomens of two other slain jawans to cause further damage to those who came to retrieve the bodies.
Naxals trying to open new chapter in South India: MHA
New Delhi: Naxals are making efforts to open a new theatre in south India with movement of armed cadres witnessed in Western Ghats and tri-junction of Tamil Nadu- Kerala-Karnataka, posing a serious security threat to the three states.In an internal communication, the Home Ministry has said the CPI (Maoist)’s efforts in the direction of expanding its organisational base in Western Ghats and the area around the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu-Kerala-Karnataka are discernible.
The activities are in the form of relative increase in movement of armed cadres in the area, along with activities of its frontal organisations and over-ground elements. The efforts of the Naxals to open a new theatre in south India is a cause for serious concern. However, at this stage it can easily be controlled through a well-formulated action plan, the Home Ministry said. During this year, so far, presence and movement of armed CPI (Maoist) groups have been noticed on over two dozen occasions in the districts of Malappuram, Wayanand and Kannur in Kerala and Mysore, Kodagu, Udupi, Chikmagalur and Shimoga districts in Karnataka.
Though adjoining areas of Tamil Nadu have not witnessed any movement of armed Naxal cadres, activities of its front bodies have increased distinctively in Erode district, the Home Ministry said. Based on various intelligence inputs, the Ministry has asked police forces of the three states to maintain strict vigil along the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu-Kerala-Karnataka and all-out efforts be made to check the activities of the Naxals in the initial stage itself.
“If necessary, joint operations of the three states may be conducted to maintain the dominance of the administration in the area and thwart any attempt of the CPI (Maoist) to build their hideouts or organisation at this strategic tri-junction,” the Home Ministry told the three states.
Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram vote on Monday
Special measures are being taken to ensure that polling in eight Naxal—hit districts are smooth and trouble-free, election office sources said..
3 southern states want LWE status
The red corridor is expanding with three southern states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — trying to get the Left Wing Extremist (LWE) status from the Centre. The move, which comes ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls, is based on “intelligence reports” suggesting that the CPI (Maoist) is trying to strengthen its South West regional bureau in the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karanataka. The grant of LWE status would mean extension of special infrastructure schemes (SIS), security related expenditure (SRE) and integrated action plan (IAP) schemes. Currently, there are nine states covered under the Central schemes, which also include raising an anti-Naxal force, assistance to build roads and civic action programme.
Under the SIS in LWE-affected states, the Centre has allocated Rs 500 crore, while for SRE funds are provided for meeting the recurring expenditure related to insurance, training and operational needs of the security forces and rehabilitation of LWE cadres. The IAP scheme for tribal and backward districts entitles a sum of Rs 30 crore for each district. The threat posed by Maoists in southern states was also discussed during the ongoing police chiefs conference in New Delhi. According to security agencies, Naxals aim to develop some districts in the three states with a view to provide shelter to its leadership in the event of increased anti-Naxal operations in its strongholds in central India. Out of the nine states, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar are the worst affected, where government is fighting armed squads of Naxals with the help of Central paramilitary forces.
The MHA has also written to the governments of the three states informing them about the activities of the CPI (Maoist). According to MHA, the presence of Maoist groups has been noticed on 15 occasions in the districts of Malappuram, Wayanand and Kannur districts in Kerala, and in Mysore, Kodagu, Udupi, Chikmagalur and Shimoga districts in Karnataka. Similarly, activities of Maoists front bodies have increased in Erode district in Tamil Nadu.
“In these areas, the cadres of CPI (Maoists) were were trying to reach out to the targeted social sections by raising issues of displacement, discrimination, ‘neo-liberal’ economic policies and social subjugation while exhorting them to join the ‘revolutionary struggle’ to ‘recapture’ forest, water, land and factories,” said one of the communications. The Centre also advised the states to develop anti-Naxal forces. In its letter, the MHA said, “The financial incentive for personnel in anti-Naxal units is perhaps only 20%of the basic salary, whereas in all the LWE affected states, the incentives ranges from 50-60% of the total salary. The state can consider enhancing the incentive. The forces in these units are ageing with most of the personnel above 35 years. This factor wo-uld vastly impair their mobility. Since, this a deputationist force, there appears to be need for infusion of younger fresh blood.”
Police arrest Maoist commander, wife
MOTIHARI: The East Champaran police, in a raid conducted jointly with CRPF and SSB, arrested Hemant Paswan, zonal commander of west Bihar and his wife Anju alias Simran, secretary of Nari Mukti Morcha, from village Mirazapur under Patahi police station on Thursday when they were planning to launch a major offensive in bordering areas of the district. The arrested duo were asked by a top leader of banned CPI(Maoist) Rajan to carry out major strikes, arson or blasts in the area as the Maoists are perturbed due to the police drive against them and arrest of more than 70 Maoists during last one year resulting in decline in its levy collection.
East Champaran SP Vinay Kumar said Hemant Paswan is a native of Sitamarhi and was operating earlier in Sitamarhi and Sheohar districts. Anju alias Simran is native of Mirzapur, who was in jail for five years in connection with Madhuban blasts case in 2005. She was released from jail in 2011 and after that got married with hardcore Naxalite Hemant Paswan. Hemant was earlier in-charge of Gaya, Jehanabad and Muzaffarpur of the organization. The police seized two pistols, cartridges, charger of laptop, three cellphones and a pen drive from the possessions of husband-wife duo. The pen drive and cell phones are being examined by the police, the SP said.
According to police sources, the duo were assigned a special task of attacking contractors, police stations and other construction sites to create a fear psychosis among the people to facilitate easy collection of levy . On November 15, heavily armed Maoists led by Paswan and Anju attacked the camp of a private company engaged in the construction of road at Gonahi under Patahi block and set ablaze the hot mixing machine and trolley. The ultras also threw some pamphlets asking the contractor to pay levy or face the consequences. The manager of the company, Sanjiv Singh, told police that no levy was demanded by the Maoists from him earlier. After the arrest of Jahir Madari and Nanhki Paswan, both hardcore Maoists and levy collectors in the district, the Maoists are a very perturbed lot.
Assam declared ‘Maoist hit’ for first time, ‘disturbed area’ tag renewed
GUWAHATI: The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has declared Assam a Maoist-hit state and has given it the ‘disturbed area’ tag under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. The tags will apply to the entire state of Assam and a 20-km belt in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya bordering the state for one more year from December 4. The state was first declared a ‘disturbed area’ on November 27, 1990, by the Centre under the provision of Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act; the tag has been renewed every year since then. The current term expires on December 3. It’s the first time that the MHA has cited Maoists as one of the reasons for continuing with the tag.
A notification issue by joint secretary (northeast) Shambhu Singh said that a review of law and order in the state indicates that “Maoist presence in Assam and border areas of Arunachal Pradesh has been noticed and hence their activities were noticed in Golaghat, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia districts of Assam and Namsai area of Lohit district in Arunachal Pradesh.” The notification states that the review, based on which the MHA has decided to renew the ‘disturbed area’ tag for the state, also indicates that “the law and order situation in the state of Assam continued to be a matter of concern due to the violent incidents caused by underground outfits.”
The notification states that from January to August this year, undergrounds were involved in 127 incidents of violence in the state in which 11 persons, including two security personnel, were killed. “In Arunachal Pradesh, Ulfa (Independent) cadres use the Lohit, Changlang and Tirap districts for infiltration and exfiltration to Myanmar, where the base camps of the outfit are located. The outfit uses these areas extensively for temporary transit camps while on the move as well as to escape counter insurgency operations in Assam,” the notification stated.
On the border with Meghalaya, the MHA notification states that “the bordering areas of Assam and Meghalaya are being used by UG (underground) outfits like the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and the Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC). The GNLA, particularly in the West Khasi Hills district, is reportedly facilitating Ulfa (I) in establishing a safe shelter-cum-base in bordering areas.” AFSPA provides special powers to the army and gives it a freehand while carrying out counter-insurgency operations.
24-hr Maoist bandh cripples Imphal
IMPHAL: Life was paralyzed in Imphal on Friday due to a 24-hour general strike called by the underground Maoist Communist Party, Manipur (MCPM) to denounce the alleged loss of Manipur’s territory as a result of the controversial India-Myanmar border fencing along the Moreh sector. Because of the bandh, the footfall of people at the main venue of the ongoing 10-day Manipur Sangai Festival on the historic palace compound here was low.
This, despite the state government having arranged buses for tourists to visit the venue. The festival kicked off on Thursday. Business establishments in Imphal city in areas such as Paona Bazaar, Thangal Bazaar, Bir Tikendrajit Road, Mahatma Gandhi Avenue and Dharamsala were closed and interstate transport services remained suspended. Most of the government offices and educational institutions were also closed though regular flight services were not affected.
The bandh, which came into force from Thursday midnight, also hit life in other districts. The MCPM said the general strike is the first step of its “People’s Resistance” for the “indigenous land and people”.Many civil society organizations and opposition parties feared that a large portion of Manipur’s territory will fall into Myanmar owing to the ongoing ‘flawed’ bordering fencing. Manipur shares a 398-km border with Myanmar. They categorically demanded that the Centre halt the fencing work until the international boundary is clearly demarcated by the two neighbouring countries.
Warm greetings extended to people on UNLF’s 49th b’day
Imphal, November 23 2013 : Extending greetings to the people of Manipur on the occasion of the 49th anniversary of United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the Central Committee of the the proscribed outfit has invited members of all ethnic groups in Western South East Asia (WESEA) to participate actively in ‘the liberation struggle against India and its reactionary puppets’ . In its annual statement, the Central Committee said that it holds the people of Manipur as the progenitor of change and the source of its strength.
The Manipur-India conflict which started with India’s forcible annexation of Manipur is now entering the 64th year and the armed struggle against India launched by the UNLF to restore Manipur’s freedom is now 49 years old. The annual statement went on to observe that the ups and downs are a natural part of the process of change. The latter comes about mainly because of the superior strength of the Indian security forces and their deceitful stratagems as well as when mistakes creep in the operational processes of the groups spearheading the process of change.
People`s movement on Nov 29-30: MCP
IMPHAL, November 23: A people’s movement will be taken out on November 29 and 30 nights, said the Maoist Communist Party, Manipur. In a press release, the outfit has said that its central committee appreciate the people of Manipur for fully supporting the 24 hour general strike on November 21, which was the first step of its people’s movement. Revolution and the people’s movement are the two sides of the same coin, and as such it a must for the people’s movement to be successful, it said. The outfit has further said that as part of the second step in its people’s resistance: To protect Indigenous Land and People of Manipur, rallies will be held at several places on the nights of November 29 and 30. It has further appealed to the people of Manipur to support the movement.
MLA seek ‘support’ of Maoists to run mine
An independent legislator in Jharkhand on Saturday sought the support of Maoists for smooth functioning of Latehar district’s Sikani coal mine, which reopens after 26 months. Speaking at the reopening ceremony of the colliery here in the presence of chief minister Hemant Soren, MLA Videsh Singh from Panki constituency in Palamu district appealed to the “jungle sarkar” (Maoists) to work together with the state government. “The government, leaders, local public and the jungle sarkar should work together to ensure smooth operations at the mine,” Singh said.
Maoists raising money through NGOs, says IB
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned states that Maoists are employing innovative methods to raise money for their activities, including collecting funds through NGOs set up by them. In a note presented in the annual Directors General of Police conference here, the IB said they have collected evidence, which suggests that the Maoists have set up several NGOs, and are collecting funds for political activities. This information has been gathered after questioning a number of Maoist cadres in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Sources said Maoists have set up NGOs in these states to collect funds.
Another area of concern highlighted by the IB was the ultras’ plans to loot banks and ATMs in the interior areas of Maoist-affected states. Sources said the Maoists’ finances are dwindling and they are now looking at new avenues for enhancing their coffers. The IB now wants the states to strengthen security at the ATM kiosks and local banks.
Assam govt plans tribal welfare to check Maoists
GUWAHATI: The Tarun Gogoi government has drawn up elaborate plans to check Maoist elements from spreading their tentacles among the vulnerable adivasi communities (tea-tribe groups) and six other ethnic groups of the state. The Assam government is determined to prevent Maoists from gaining a firm foothold in the state as the Reds have brought Assam, along with Nagaland and Manipur, under its ‘eastern regional bureau,’ which includes West Bengal, Jharkhand and the eastern coastal region as well. “There is an ambitious design of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PGLA) to extend its ‘Red Corridor’ into the Assam, Nagaland and Manipur,” a security source said and added that the Siliguri corridor is being silently intruded by the CPI (Maoist) cadres to spread their bases in the northeast and neighbouring Bhutan.
“They (Maoists) have already made their presence known in Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Dhemaji and Tinsukia districts in Assam. The PLGA’s next destinations are two other northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland,” the source said. The source added that Maoists are also trying to make inroads into the Nepali-dominated areas along the Indo-Bhutan border areas in Kokrajhar district. “We are giving due attention to the grievances of the adivasi communities to prevent the entry of Maoists into Assam. We are keeping a close watch on the activities of the Maoists in the state but at the same time we have to erase the feeling of neglect and alienation among the different communities and empower them,” a government official said. ”
So far, the Maoists have been able to influence some youth from the state and few Khamti boys from Arunachal Pradesh. However, unlike Jharkhand, there is just a sprinkling of Adivasi youth here. There are few young people from Goalpara and Kamrup district but the majority is from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Golaghat districts and many from Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts,” the source said.