Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Maoist Insurgency: Concerns over "Red Corridor"

[The nexus between the Maoists and PWG was first established in ’01 when Naxal organisations of four South Asian countries — India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — joined hands to form an umbrella outfit named the Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) to “unify and co-ordinate their activities.” Intelligence sources reveal that Maoists have already spilled over to the border districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, so much so that many of their senior leaders are said to be holed up in Indian territory.]

'AP's talks with Maoists may spell trouble' Add to Clippings


NEW DELHI: Even as Andhra Pradesh sits for a round of dialogue with the People’s War Group (PWG) on October 15, security agencies are worried that the resurgence in Maoist violence in Nepal may start pinching India soon, as Left-wing extremists try to accomplish their mission of creating a red corridor stretching from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh.

Intelligence sources reveal that Maoists have already spilled over to the border districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, so much so that many of their senior leaders are said to be holed up in Indian territory.

Given the fraternal state of ties between the Maoists and PWG, the two groups have started networking to create the proposed red corridor or “compact revolutionary zone,” starting from Nepal and running through Bihar, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

The nexus between the Maoists and PWG was first established in ’01 when Naxal organisations of four South Asian countries — India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — joined hands to form an umbrella outfit named the Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) to “unify and co-ordinate their activities.”

The “peace overtures” of Andhra Pradesh, which incidentally have received full backing of the Centre, are hence being seen as ill-timed since the need of the hour seems to be a crackdown on the Left-wing extremists in general.

This will ensure that they do not take advantage of the resurgence in Nepal to make inroads into India. Also, since as many as 9 states are involved, a solitary move by Andhra Pradesh to talk peace with PWG may only encourage the group to divert its cadres to the other trouble spots and regroup in the absence of a counter-fight with the security forces.

Insiders feel that the Andhra government’s move to pay the PWG for its “tacit” support in the recent Assembly elections by initiating peace and lifting the ban imposed on it under Pota, could only have negative repercussions in other states.

Orissa and Chattisgarh have already expressed fears of a spurt in Naxalite violence in their territory as PWG cadres commit crimes and escape to the safe environs of Andhra Pradesh.

In fact, many Left-wing extremist-hit states have complained that they should have been taken into confidence when the ban on PWG was lifted.

The Congress government at the Centre, however, does not agree and has fully endorsed Andhra’s initiative, besides asking other Naxalites-infested states to follow in its footsteps.

The Congress’ “soft” attitude towards militants does not stop at Left-wing extremists alone. The party is said to harbour sympathy for Ulfa in Assam as well — a point documented in former Assam governor SK Sinha’s report to the President sent way back in 1999 — and it is an open secret how the Congress in Assam has been drawing upon the finances and resources of Ulfa to win electoral battles.

The Tarun Gogoi government’s failure to contain the Ulfa, even as the Royal Bhutanese Army launched a military offensive against their camps on its soil, has only led the two outfits to regroup themselves and establish bases in a big way in Upper Assam.

The latest strikes by the NDFB and Ulfa are proof that the RBA offensive has not really decimated their numbers, who continue to resort to extortion and violence.

TNN 05/10/2004