Naxal 'ideologues' are infiltrating India's cities using human rights NGOs as 'front organisations', claims government

By Abhishek Bhalla and Press Trust Of India

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The Maoist insurgency of faraway Bharat has successfully infiltrated India's cities.

The Central government says so.

Far from their strongholds in the jungle tracts of central India, activists and sympathisers of Maoists are making repeated attempts to penetrate into urban areas, and succeeding.

Mass organisations are operating under the garb of human rights NGOs.

These are manned by ideologues, including academicians and activists.

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said all this in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, detailing the new strategy of the Maoist movement.

The affifdavit cites a document of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) titled 'Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Revolution' as drawing a blueprint of the Maoist plan to seize political power.

The affidavit states that one of the strategies adopted by Maoists is to mobilise certain targeted sections of the urban population through its mass organisations which are otherwise known as 'front organisations'.

The MHA filed the affidavit in response to a notice issued by the Supreme Court on a PIL filed by former Madhya Pradesh MLA Kishore Samrite that the Maoist problem was spreading rapidly.

"The mass organisations mostly operating under the garb of human rights NGOs are organically linked to the CPI (Maoist) structure but maintain separate identities in an attempt to avoid legality," the MHA affidavit says.

Security forces have seized massive amount of explosives a few days before the second phase of assembly polls in Chhattisgarh

Security forces have seized massive amount of explosives a few days before the second phase of assembly polls in Chhattisgarh

The affidavit further says that such organisations pursue human rights related issues and are also adept at using the legal processes to their benefit.

According to the home ministry, ideologues and supporters of Maoists in cities and towns have undertaken a concerted and systematic propaganda against the state.

"In fact, it is these ideologues who have kept the Maoist movement alive and are in many ways more dangerous than the cadres of the People's Liberation Guerilla Army," the affidavit says.

RED ALIGNMENT WITH N-E INSURGENTS TROUBLES GOVERNMENT

By Abhishek Bhalla

The Maoists are not alone in waging a war against the Indian state. In their endeavour to spread their network, the Leftwing extremists are looking at cooperation from other insurgent groups and are also extending help to them.

A home ministry affidavit filed in the Supreme Court states that as part of their strategy, the Maoists are forming a "rainbow coalition of various insurgent groups in India so as to launch a united front attack against the existing state machinery".

Although the affidavit doesn't name any particular outfit, sources say there is an understanding with all insurgent groups from North-East to Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have established a link between the Maoists and Manipur-based People's Liberation Army and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)," said a home ministry official.

Security and intelligence agencies suspect the Maoists have a new chain of supply of weapons now and are not dependent only on the snatching arms from security forces. Intelligence reports have also indicated a collaboration between the Reds and the Indian Mujahideen.

The recent seizure of bombs and explosives from IM men in Jharkhand, a Red bastion, point to a nexus between the two groups.

It is suspected that the Naxals are providing explosives to the IM in return of arms and ammunition.

Intelligence inputs also indicate that the Maoists are getting assistance from across the border, particularly from some groups in Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The home ministry has also informed the apex court that legal action against these front organisations needs to be initiated, and that these are the main source of recruitment of underground cadres.

The home ministry is of the opinion that through the PLA the Maoists seek to capture territory in the countryside and gradually encircle urban centres.

In a report prepared by MHA, front organisations of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoists) have been listed.

There are 128 such organisations across the country that are on the radar of intelligence agencies (see box) for their links with the red rebels.

Other than states hit by left wing extremism like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh these front organisations are also active in Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Kerala.

Delhi under threat

Sources said the most active units are in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Some of the organisations in Delhi that are under scanner are the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, Democratic Students Union, Nari Mukti Sangh, People Democratic Front of India and Mehantkash Mazdoor Morcha.

Many of their members are said to be active in towns adjoining Delhi like Gurgaon and Ghaziabad.

Intelligence agencies stumbled upon Maoists' strategy of setting urban bases in cities like Delhi in 2009 with the arrest of Kobad Ghandy from Delhi allegedly responsible for recruiting people from urban centres.

More recently, Hem Mishra, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi was arrested by Maharashtra Police last month for allegedly helping Maoists.

His arrest followed a search at the residence of GN Saibababa, a professor at Delhi University.

Explosives

The Chhattisgarh Police have beefed up security ahead of the second phase of assembly polls on November 19 after recovery of huge amount of explosives from the Maoist-affected Gariyaband district.

Fourteen tiffin bombs, four detonators, eight live cartridges, AK-47 rifle rounds, one live self-loading rifle cartridge, wire, batteries, Maoist documents and items of daily use were recovered after an encounter between Red cadres and security forces in the forests of the Gaurmudi village, Mahasamund SP Deepak Jha said.

Security forces were mobilised from Komakhan police station limits of Mahsamund along the interstate border of Chhattisgarh and Orissa for the operation, he said.

After crossing an area falling in Odisha, when security forces reached the forests of Gaurmudi village, the rebels opened fire on them and fled after the security forces retaliated, he said.

It appeared that the Maoists had been campaigning in the area for the past few days, since lots of materials of daily use were recovered from the spot.

The police did not rule out the possibility of Maoist presence in the region to disturb the polls and said that an area domination exercise was on in the region.

Adequate security arrangements are being made in districts like Mahasamund, Gariyaband, Dhamtari and North Chhattisgarh, which will go to polls during the second phase, the police added.

MAOIST LINKS OF CRPF OFFICER WORRY CHIEF

By Mail Today Reporter and Press Trust of India

The leakage of operational information of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), allegedly by a detained officer of the force to the Maoists, had led to failure of certain anti-Maoist actions in Bihar, CRPF chief Dilip Trivedi said on Friday.

The Bihar Police had booked the assistant commandant rank officer in Gaya on Thursday. "The Bihar DGP told me that he (the officer in question) was talking to militants over phone and they have intercepted his conversations. He also told me that due to this, certain operations against Naxals failed or could not bring out the desired success," Trivedi said.

The officer, identified as SK Yadav of 159th battalion, is being questioned to elicit his side of the story and other details of his purported liaisons with the Maoists. Bihar Police sources had claimed that the officer was leaking out vital information like the composition of patrol parties, raid plans and the fire power of troops to the Maoists.

Maoists watch as villagers dance in a forested area of Bijapur District in Chhattisgarh (File photo)

Maoists watch as villagers dance in a forested area of Bijapur District in Chhattisgarh (File photo)

This is the first time that an officer of the paramilitary force has come under scanner for Maoist links.

The officer had joined the CRPF in 2009. He is from Bihar and was posted in Gaya. The case was cracked by the Special Task Force of the Bihar Police.

The Maoist menace, along with activities of Pakistan-based terrorist groups, will be the main agenda during the annual conference of directors general of police and inspectors general of police, beginning November 21.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and central officers will attend the three-day conference.

This year, 237 civilians and security personnel have lost their lives in Maoist violence.

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