Top Maoist held in Pune spills beans on ‘expansion’ plan
Interrogations of top Maoist leader Konath Murlidharan alias Ajith (61) and his “courier” Ismail Hamza (25), arrested by the Maharashtra ATS from Talegaon Dabhade in Pune on May 8, 2015, has revealed details of merger of Communist Party of India-CPI (ML) Naxalbari and the CPI (Maoist), considered as an “important” development in the left-wing extremist (LWE) movement in the country. A native of Ernakulam in Kerala and son of a former diplomat, Ajith was the national secretary of the CPI (ML) Naxalbari.
The merger took place after his meeting with Ganapathy, the general of CPI (Maoists), for 10 days in November-December 2013, at an undisclosed location. After the merger, Ajith was appointed as central committee member of CPI-Maoists and given the task of publication of People’s March Magazine, propaganda material, integration of cadres of CPI-ML Naxalbari with the Western Ghat Special Zonal Committee (WGSPC) of CPI-Maoists and carrying out party work in urban areas, including Pune and Mumbai. Apparently, Ajith started staying in Pune with Ismail, but was arrested. Assistant commissioner of police (ATS) Bhanupratap Barge confirmed that a chargesheet was filed in connection with the case in a special court on October 14. Ajith and Ganpathy held meet for 10 days
Different Maoist outfits in the country merged to form the CPI-Maoist in September 2004. But the CPI (ML) Naxalbari was away from it as its leaders had ideological differences over interpretation of Maoism, the manner of armed struggle and international connections. CPI (ML) Naxalbari had four state committees, in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashta. But after suffering setbacks in all states, the outfit decided to merge with CPI-Maoists. Accordingly, they sent a letter to Ganpathy through the Kerala state committee of CPI-Maoists.
Around June 2013, Ganpathy replied to it. The CPI (ML) Naxalbari leaders, including Ajith and Sanjay Deepak Rao of Maharashtra, held a meeting at Thrissur in Kerala in August 2013, where they decided to merge with CPI-Maoist and join the armed struggle. According to the chargesheet filed against Ajith, he went to Howrah in November-December 2013 and from there to Jharkand by bus. He was received by about 10 armed Maoists in uniform near a Jain temple in Giridh district.
After walking on foot for two days, they reached a place where about 75 cadres welcomed Ajith with revolutionary songs and Maoist slogans. Here, Ganpathy came forward to greet Ajith. They had tea together in a tent. The two leaders then held discussions on merger agenda, future actions and other issues for the next 10 days. Interrogation revealed that Ajith and Ganpathy discussed several ideological, political and operational issues, including the situation of PLGA forces and armed struggle, loss of leadership in urban areas. During a meeting, Ganpathy said that technical team of CPI-Maoists had capabilities of manufacturing rocket launchers.
Ganpathi also criticised the tactics followed by Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-Maoist) led by Prachanda. He doubted Prachanda’s links with India’s R&AW. Ajith and Ganpathy also talked about the possibility of BJP coming to power and growth of RSS. They also discussed the draft of their merger declaration, which was signed by both and then released on May 1, 2014. Ajith shifts to Pune Probe revealed that Ajith underwent a bypass surgery at the Usha Cullappade hospital in Hyderabad in October 2012 in the fake name of Rajendra. Due to health problems, he decided to stay in an urban area. After interaction with Kuppuswamy, in-charge of the Maoist operations in Western Ghats, he shifted to Maharashtra with the help of Sanjay Rao.
A “dedicated” Maoist cadre Ismail, who is also a suspect in attacks carried out by WGSPC on KFC and McDonald’s outlets in Kerala in December 2014, joined Ajithj as “courier.” Ajith and Ismail operated with fake names of Thomas Joseph and James Mathew respectively. They managed to get fake Aadhaar card, PAN card and other documents. Rao helped them get a flat on rent in Lotus villa, Talegaon Dabhade. The duo regularly got money from the Maoist party. From Pune, Ajith travelled to Mumbai, Kerala and other areas for medical check-ups and party meetings. He also looked for potential recruits. ATS probe has revealed that Ajith and Sanjay Rao tried to indoctrinate Sameer Sane, a government employee from Thane, and a businessman Ketan Kamat. The duo allegedly provided SIM card and Internet dongle in their names to Ajith. His history-sheet and international links Ajith’s father retired from the Indian Foreign Service in 1971.
Ajith did his schooling in China, Romania and Denmark during his father’s posting to these countries. He completed SSC from an Ernakulam school and took admission in the regional engineering college (REC), Kozhikode, but left the college in final semester to join the underground naxal movement with K Venu in 1975. He was arrested by Kerala police in a few cases of violence and was also lodged in Kannur jail between March 1976 to June 1978. In 1998, he married V C Jenny, who later left him. His son Nachiketas is a software engineer in Kochi. Ajith had lived with his wife at Vilas Sonawane’s residence in Dombivili in Mumbai when he was introduced to Sameer Sane. He had meetings with Kobad Ghandy, Kishesnji and other top Maoist leaders at different locations.
He and K Venu participated in the revolutionary international movement conference in Paris in 1984, where he went on fake passport obtained from Bangalore. He also attended a meeting of Maoists in Nepal in 2011. Ajith’s writings like “Against Avakainism” are popular among Maoist supporters in foreign countries. After his arrest, a few international groups supporting Maoist movement in India started an online campaign demanding his release.
Maoists urge people to boycott election in Wayanad
Thirunelli (Wayanad): A group of armed persons, suspected to be Maoists, allegedly distributed a set leaflets, carrying a call to boycott the upcoming local body elections, among local people at Government Ashram School junction, near here, on Tuesday night. According to the police, the seven-member gang including two women arrived at the village on the foothills of the Brahmagiri mountain range around 7.30 pm on Tuesday. After taking out a procession carrying firearms, they shouted slogans and handed over copies of the handwritten pamphlets to the local residents. At the time of the incident, there were around 20 local people at the spot, the police said. The group also pasted posters on the walls in the area.
The black-and-white posters alleged that ‘Thirunelli has become a hub of illegal activities due to the ill-conceived policies of the authorities’. The gang also told the locals that they would not allow new resorts to come up in the area. Later, they disappeared in the forest after purchasing rice and vegetables from a local grocery store, the police said. Though the Kerala Thunderbolt, the elite paramilitary commando unit of the Kerala Police, launched combing operations in the dense forest immediately after the incident, the search has so far failed to yield any results. The police have taken a serious note of the incident which took place after the arrest of Roopesh, who was accused of coordinating the activities of the banned outfit in the state.
Villagers Attack Police Team, SAP Jawan Killed
BEGUSARAI: A SAP jawan was beaten to death and six other policemen, including a SHO, were injured when villagers attacked a police team which had gone to arrest a Maoist operative in Kushmahat village of Nima Chandpura police station limits of Bihar’s Begusarai district. Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said on a tip-off that a Maoist operative Bauna Sada was hiding in Kushmahat village, a police team led by SHO Amit Kumar raided the village and arrested him.
However, the villagers started hurling stones at the police team and freed the Maoist, the SP said adding, the police opened fire in its defence. One SAP jawan Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, a resident of Purnea district, was caught by the villagers who beat him to death, Kumar said. All six injured policemen, including the SHO, have been admitted to Sadar hospital for treatment, the SP said. Kumar said the police have launched a combing operation to nab the Maoists and have taken a dozen persons in custody for their alleged involved in the incident.