Maoist regrouping in Jangalmahal
By Shutapa Paul | ENS | Published: 10th December 2012 09:16 AM |
A year on since the death of dreaded Maoist Mallojula Koteshwara Rao alias Kishenji, who was shot dead in an encounter with the security forces, some 50 naxal sympathisers met here to commemorate the top rebel commander.
Sources in the city police revealed that the state committee members from the CPI(Maoist) along with human rights activists and students were among those who attended the meeting.
The meeting which took place right under the noses of the state administration was carefully monitored by the police even though there were no orders for arrest.
Ever since Kishenji was shot dead by joint forces in the Burisole forest of West Midnapore on November 24 last, an eerie peace has prevailed in the Maoist-infested region.
A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report said that there had been no casualties resulting from Maoist activities in West Bengal in 2012. And this is in stark contrast to the 258 people slain by the guerillas in the state last year.
Intelligence Bureau(IB) sources claim that a gradual regrouping of the Maoists is taking place in their former stronghold. Although the scale of violence caused by the rebels might have gone down and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC Government would like to believe that all is well in Jangalmahal, the condition of the people there has remained more or less the same. Meanwhile, the extremists have been making use of the public resentment over the lack of the ‘paribartan’ (change) promised by the state government to regain lost ground.
“The Maoists have realised that calling frequent strikes and engaging in indiscriminate violence hasn’t gone down well with the people. They are now trying to tap people who’re disillusioned by the TMC-led state government,” said a senior police official.
IB sources also disclosed that senior Maoist leaders had stepped up their efforts to resurrect the Maoist movement. And the Maoists’ decision to observe their martyrs’ week--which practically coincided with the CM’s tour--was a clear indication of their determination to turn the tide in their favour.
Even as Ramesh and three Union Ministers from the state Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Deepa Dasmunsi and Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury highlighted the Centre’s initiatives to develop the backward region ahead of the crucial Panchayat polls, the Maoists too made their presence felt by observing their martyrs’ week.
The Maoist movement in West Bengal had been going through a flux due to the leadership vacuum that followed Kishenji’s death. With more than 30 rebels surrendering to the police, to avail didi’s attractive rehabilitation package, the Maoists had realised that strengthening their cadre base was of utmost importance.