KOLKATA: Veteran Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal, who was instrumental in the merger of several Maoist factions to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in 2004, breathed his last in a Kolkata hospital late Monday night after prolonged battle with cancer. He was 78.
Narayan Sanyal’s body will be kept in the hospital mortuary for two days for Maoist sympathisers from all over the country to pay their last respects.
Narayan Sanyal was one of the earliest comrades of Charu Mazumdar, father of the 1967 Naxalbari movement, and went by the aliases Bijoy Da and Naveen Prasad.
Sanyal was a politburo member when he was arrested from the Raipur bus stand in Chhattisgarh in 2005. He was later released from prison in 2014 on grounds of ill-health and lived in Kolkata thereafter.
At the time of his arrest, Sanyal was next only to CPI (Maoist) general secretary Muppalla Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy in decision making.
He was a bank employee who quit his job to plunge into the Naxalbari movement and was sent to central Bihar to organise the peasants there. He was arrested in 1973 and sent to Kolkata. Sanyal was released from prison in 1977 as part of an amnesty granted by the then newly elected Left Front regime of Jyoti Basu.
Narayan Sanyal formed the Maoist faction CPI (ML) (Party Unity) in 1978 and fought violent wars against upper caste private landlord armies such as Ranveer Sena and Sunlight Sena and mobilised Dalits against caste oppression and indentured labour.
CPI (ML) (Party Unity) merged with the Andhra Pradesh-based People’s War Group (PWG) in 1998 and Sanyal shifted base to Bastar in Chhattisgarh and was the key person behind the mergers of PWG and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) to form CPI (Maoist) in 2004.