A killing that has the Maoists rattled

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 07, 2010 04:13 hrs

Two recent incidents have exposed the real faces of certain people who masquerade as respectable citizens, but are, in fact, the enemies of India. These were (a) the killing of the Maoist leader Azad (b) the abduction (and subsequent release) of security personnel in Bihar.

There were a plethora of intelligence inputs that indicated that Maoists were planning to carry out large-scale attacks in Bihar to subvert the election process.

And then came the proof. On 29 August 2010, they abducted a BDO in north-Bihar. A few days before, a huge amount of explosives, enough to cause mayhem in whole of Bihar, was seized from Munger.

When the Maoists abducted the security personnel, they were certain that the state would yield. The tough posturing by the state has completely unsettled them and their representatives in Delhi.

Some of them are soliciting airtime on various TV channels. Some channels, given their pro-Maoist and leftist bias, are only too willing to go out of their way to accommodate them.

It is learnt that some of these politically influential sympathizers were in touch with the Maoists, discussing whether Abhay Yadav or Tete should be eliminated first in order to reach an effective bargain. In the interest of the Maoist movement in Bihar, they decided on Tete as he belonged to Chhattisgarh.

To the Maoists, the loss of Cherukuri Rajkuma Azad has been severe because it came in the wake of the massacre of CRPF personnel at Dantewada. After the attack, the Maoists had begun to feel invincible, as it often happens with terrorist groups that underestimate the State’s capability to strike back.

One might think the loss of one leader should not have mattered to an ideological and militant cadre-based anti-national outfit. But such groups are very sensitive to the loss of their top leadership because they constitute ‘the brain’.

While the loss of a lower-level or even middle-level leader does not cause much disconcertment among the Maoists, Azad was not someone who could be easily supplanted.

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Having been associated with the ultra-leftist movement for more than four decades, he was at the apex of the Maoist hierarchy. During this period, he had built extensive links with forces inimical to India, namely the LTTE, the New Peoples Army of Philippines, the Maoists in Nepal, elements in China, the ISI of Pakistan, insurgent groups in the northeast, and Islamic terrorists in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Maoist leadership is so unnerved at the loss of Azad because the Indian security apparatus has been able to track down other commanders as well. Most of them feel that they are next in line.

Sources reveal that on several occasions, Indian agencies were successful in ascertaining the exact location of Kishanji, but deliberately allowed him to slip on the orders of the government, for tactical reasons. Reportedly, on one occasion, it was done at the behest of the West Bengal government

The Maoists are conscious that once the top leadership is neutralized, their movement will begin to flounder.

But, more than anything else, the killing of Azad has exposed the wide network of Maoists and their infiltration into the media, universities (both amongst students and teachers), amongst the academicians and so called intellectuals, and above all, the mainstream politicians.

Even if the allegations of a ‘false encounter’ are true, the din of the orchestrated clamour for investigation into the death of a person, who was a criminal and a fugitive from law, is inexplicable. Azad was involved in a dozen murders including the killing of the Congress leader Narsa Reddy. He carried a reward of Rs.12,00,000/-

The common law-abiding citizens of this country are confounded to see a saffron-clad activist, a one book wonder fiction writer and a cabinet minister, along with many others of their ilk, so passionately demanding a probe into Azad’s killing, as if he were a martyr and as if the entire solution to the Maoist problem hinges on proving that Azad was killed in a false encounter.

On August 3, a public meeting to demand the judicial enquiry into the alleged fake-encounter of Azad was attended by these very elements in Delhi. Significantly, it was addressed by the Chairman EM Abdul Rahman of Popular Front of India, an extremist Islamic organization active in South India, which was recently in news for allegedly chopping off the hand of a Christian professor in Kerala.

A comment on a web report related to the encounter reads:
‘Actually Azad was a Gandhian. He had never hurt a fly, not even a mosquito. So much he never used a mosquito repellent all his life. When police found him with an AK-47, Azad didn't know it was real. Out of fun, he fired at the police thinking it was fake. But police returned fire and the poor soul was killed. All this happened because Azad was a fake Maoist. Just for time pass, he went around saying he was a Maoist. So police should be pulled up for killing a fake Maoist.’

A weekly English magazine has devoted an issue to the incident. There are graffiti all over Jawaharlal Nehru University in support of Azad.

The Maoists have managed to drive a wedge in every segment of Indian society, including the polity. They have also been trying to divide the security forces by playing on their sentiments.

One activist urged the Nitish Kumar government on television to not to treat his security personnel as insects and meet the demands of the Maoists. He appealed to the Maoist leader Avinash, who he called ‘Avinashji’ to postpone the deadline set against the lives of the three surviving policemen.

But while he has been urging the government to release the eight Maoist leaders in jail, not once has he asked the Maoists to release the abducted policemen immediately and without conditions. It is for the readers to decide whether he is an activist, a politician, or a Maoist.

Another Maoist sympathizer appeared on television to say the government only acts when officers are abducted. Then, he went to communalize the issue by suggesting that the government had refused to meet the Maoists’ demands because members of certain religious communities were amongst the hostage. These are the most dangerous representatives of the Maoists.

Terrorism is like the monster Hydra. To crush it, all the heads have to be severed. The underground Maoist leadership is just one head, but the most difficult head to sever is the vast network of white-collared individuals and organizations who, in the veneer of social activism and intellectualism, are engaged in anti-national activities.

They are pathologically anti-establishment, specialize in indoctrinating the view that the Naxals are victims, and are struggling for the preservation and promotion of the Maoist cause even if it means the withering of India.

In their youth, some of these elements manage to join the academics and civil services. A few leave the ranks after tasting the power and privileges. Those who are left out, or who are too hardcore to be sidetracked, continue to subvert the country for the rest of their lives. They are partly sustained by ideology, partly by their individual and external agenda, partly by monetary inducements from Maoists and external sources.

The government has details about their anti-national activities, but they are getting away because of the magnanimity of the liberal Indian political system, the same system that they want to overthrow by the barrel of the gun.

There is little doubt that Nitish Kumar has brought about unprecedented development in Bihar. He believed in the theory that development was the most effective antidote to Maoism. But the Reds have torpedoed this logic, which most ‘intellectuals’ rant about too. It would seem that good governance is what disconcerts the Maoists and their sympathizers.

RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review.

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