Intelligence agencies have alerted the Tamil Nadu police on the attempts allegedly being made by CPI (Maoist) to revive the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee that they have been trying to strengthen over the years.
Considering its location in the tri-junction forests of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, the Maoists considered the base as strategic to regain strongholds in the area and take forward their agenda. However, the movement weakened following the arrest of Rupesh alias Jogi who headed the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee and his supporters at Karumathampatti near Coimbatore in 2015.
According to police sources, field level officers across the State were alerted that the Maoists had launched a massive recruitment programme targeting youth, particularly students. Dozens of youth, including students of a law college in the southern districts, were already inducted and subjected to a systematic indoctrination of the “Marxism, Maoism and Ambedkar ideology,” a senior police officer quoting the alert told ‘The Hindu’ on Sunday.
The sources said front organisations that were directly supporting the Maoist ideology and other like-minded groups were planning to organise mass protests against the 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). While the alert gave specific input on the recruitment and training methodology, there was no mention of the involvement of leaders from other States, the sources said.
A law graduate from Thrissur, Rupesh, who was arrested by the ‘Q’ Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police on a tip-off from the Special Intelligence Branch of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh police, was allegedly involved in several cases in Kerala. The police said he headed the Maoist operations in the tri-junction area and also accused him of organising attacks on the establishments of the forest department. His wife Shyna, who was also arrested, had quit Kerala government service to join the organisation.
Better inter-State coordination
In a report, the Ministry of Home Affairs while explaining the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) scenario in the country laid emphasis on better inter-State coordination since the area of operation of CPI (Maoist) was not confined to a single State but was spread over several States. The Government of India had taken many steps to improve the inter-State interactions between the bordering districts of Maoist affected States.
The report said a majority of casualties to security forces engaged in anti-LWE operations were caused by Improvised Explosive Devices. Besides supporting counter-IED capacity building efforts of the Central Armed Police Forces and State police, the MHA had issued a Standard Operating Procedure relating to management of explosives/IEDs/landmines in LWE affected areas.
The report said the resolute implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan by the government had resulted in unprecedented improvement in (curtailing) the LWE scenario in the country. The last seven years had seen a significant decline in LWE violence as well as the geographical spread of the organisation. There had been an overall 55% reduction in violent incidents (1136 to 509) and 63% reduction (397 to 147) in LWE-related deaths in 2021 as compared to 2013.
In comparison to 2020, the year 2021 saw a decline of 24% (665 to 509) in incidents of violence and the resultant deaths by 20% (183 to 147). At the same time, the developmental outreach by the government of India had seen an increasingly large number of LWE cadres shunning the path of violence and returning to the mainstream.
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