Security agencies send home ministry note seeking more funds, separate cells to probe Naxal activities in urban areas

New Delhi: While the Supreme Court on Friday rejected the demand for an SIT probe in the arrest of five activists—Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Arun Ferreira—in the Bhima Koregaon case, paving the way for Pune Police to continue further investigation, a secret note prepared by the security agencies and sent to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said influence of urban activities of CPI (Maoists) has been reported in at least 18 states of the country.

 Security agencies send home ministry note seeking more funds, separate cells to probe Naxal activities in urban areas

Representational image. AFP

“Punjab, and Gujarat Police have informed MHA that the state witnessed overground activities of CPI (Maoist) in the last 4-5 years while demanding that security-related expenditure given to the Naxal violence affected states should also be extended to those states affected by Maoists activities in urban areas. Gujarat has asked for regular sharing of intelligence regarding visits of activists with Maoist leanings and their activities in urban areas. They have also referred to the document prepared by Kobad Ghandy, senior most Maoists leader, on the prospect of Naxalism in Punjab, which outlines the Naxal plan to work in the urban areas of the state,” an informed government source told Firstpost.

The note highlighted that the politburo, Maoist's top decision-making body, controls the urban activities through various regional bureaux and sub-committees, including those involved in mass organisations.

“The mass organisations represent the link between the rural and urban areas. The main objective is the mobilisation of the masses including the working class and the youth and formation of Tactical United Front by involving other like-minded organisations, by exploiting common issues. Such organisations are also used to supply men and material from the urban centres to rural areas and recruitment of educated urban youth as leaders of the party like the work done by GN Saibaba, ex-Joint Secretary of Revolutionary Democratic Front. The prominent areas identified in this plan included the Surat-Pune industrial corridor, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Coimbatore,” it said.

The note has also cited the activities of Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, Mazdoor Sangthan Samiti active in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and involved in holding ideological classes for furthering Maoists propaganda. Security agencies have observed that inputs regarding Tactical United Front were received from Jharkhand last year where extensive protests were held over death of Motilal Baskey, a Maoist cadre, by terming it as a ‘fake encounter’.

MHA has been informed that the role of ‘Fact Finding Team’ and subsequent formation of ‘Daman Virodhi Morcha’ by associating with mainstream political parties and other Marxist-Leninist outfits is clearly towards strengthening the urban cadres.

“The orientation of state police should be calibrated towards work of mass organisations, particularly in states that are not affected with violence. Interdiction of funding of these outfits and forming a long-term perspective to tackle the challenges of Urban Naxalism is immediately required. There is a need to supplement the National Policy on dealing with Naxals, with guidelines on this front and the provision of funds. Separate cells should be formed in State Intelligence branches to monitor these activities and efforts should be made to ensure proper investigation and subsequent conviction of the Maoists Urban activists,” the note added.

On the issue of prosecution, sources said, it was most challenging since people with sympathy towards Naxalism are working in urban areas under the garb of front organisations and an earlier judgment of Supreme Court that mere membership of a banned outfit, without involvement in any violent act, was not a crime, also posed as a major challenge.

“The Supreme Court judgment on Friday will allow the Maharashtra Police to thoroughly investigate the case. Acquiring the membership of Maoists is a structured process and enough protection is provided to the cadres keeping them off the radar. For example, we came to know later that a funded protest held in Gujarat following Una incident was orchestrated by certain individuals from Bihar. There are several organisations active on Karnataka-Kerala-Tamil Nadu trip-junction working under the garb of welfare and youth solidarity,” sources said.

Updated Date: Sep 28, 2018 16:52:28 IST