Monday, April 13, 2009

Naxal agenda: Plan attacks to deter voters

13 Apr 2009, 0409 hrs IST, Vishwa Mohan & Mohua Chatterjee, TNN

NEW DELHI: The spurt in naxal violence — which saw 17 security personnel being killed in the past three days -- appears to be a manifestation of the The spurt in naxal violence — which saw 17 security personnel being killed in the past three days -- appears to be a manifestation of the recent poll boycott call given by the Red ultras. (TOI Photo)
recent poll boycott call given by the Red ultras.

Besides asking sympathisers to stay away from polling, the CPI (Maoists), an umbrella organisation of all naxal outfits across the country, had recently asked its armed cadre to pick their targets in such a way that the incidents would have some bearing on polls.

Although the naxals failed to make any substantial dent in voting percentage through violence in the past (1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha polls), they have still been trying to do so by attacking security personnel just before polls. Accordingly, all the recent incidents took place in the areas — Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and Khunti, Chatra, Lohardaga and Palamau in Jharkhand — which will go to poll in the first phase on April 16.

Intention of the Maoists is also reflected in the pamphlets which they have been distributing among tribals in the naxal-affected constituencies. The pamphlet — a copy of which is with TOI — says there is no point in taking part in such polls which will elect only pro-rich government. The elections only change the face with intent of governance remaining the same, it adds while calling naxal sympathisers to boycott the elections.

Since majority of naxal-affected Lok Sabha seats will go to polls on April 16, security agencies have been on their toes. CRPF chief A S Gill has been camping in Chhattisgarh to review security preparedness in the wake of killing of 10 of his men in a fierce encounter with naxalites in the forests of Kotampalli in Dantewada on Friday.

A day after the Dantewada incident, Khunti in Jharkhand witnessed a major attack in which five CRPF personnel were killed by Red ultras on Saturday. The encounter took place hours before Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a poll rally in the district. Chhattisgarh saw yet another incident in Bijapur district on Sunday when two security personnel were killed.

Besides, Jharkhand witnessed a series of incidents in Latehar, Gumla, Chatra and Palamau where naxalites blasted school, panchayat and community buildings in the past fortnight. Since security forces deployed for poll duty in the state have been camping in these buildings, the ultras have been targetting them.

The naxal-affected constituencies which go to poll on April 16 are Khammam, Karimnagar, Warangal and Mahabubnagar in Andhra Pradesh; Aurangabad, Jehanabad and Gaya in Bihar; Chatra, Hazaribagh, Lohardaga, Khunti and Palamau in Jharkhand; Bastar, Kanker, Surguja and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh; Chimur (Gadchiroli) and Bhandara (Gondia) in Maharashtra and Koraput, Sundargarh and Sambalpur in Orissa.

1 comment:

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