Saturday, February 27, 2010

Naxals entering Vidarbha stir worries state govt

Soumittra S Bose, TNN, Feb 26, 2010, 07.33am IST

NAGPUR: The recent arrests of Bandu Meshram and Ramkumar Akkapalli, alias Masram, seem to be directed towards checking possible infiltration of Naxal elements in the pro-Vidarbha movement. Though the arrests are made in connection with Ramnagar police station case registered in 2008 in Chandrapur, the real purpose is likely to snuff out Maoist influence in the agitation before it gains ground.

With the memory of the tremendous flare-up of Khairlanji agitation of 2006 still fesh, observers say that the government must be wary of another Naxal-backed movement taking shape. The separate Telangana movement, the Andhra Pradesh government believes, gained violent edge after the Naxalites started getting involved.

A recent statement by a pro-Vidarbha leader that he would welcome Naxal help in securing separate state would have made the government sit up and take note even though that sentiment was quickly disowned by other leaders. Home minister RR Patil, speaking to media had stated that any attempt by Naxals to hijack the movement would be strongly dealt with. Some alleged Naxalites in jail had resorted to a day-long hunger-strike in protest of the Patil's statement.

Meanwhile, seized Naxal literature being analyzed by the security agencies clearly hints at Naxals aiming to support all mass-based agitations and they may see revival of pro-Vidarbha movement as an opportunity to foment trouble. “These out of the blue actions (arrests) are nothing but fallout of participation in pro-Vidarbha movement by these social workers. The case was registered in 2008. Why did Chandrapur police suddenly revive the case? Were not these alleged Naxalites traceable earlier as they were working as a tailor and the other a civil cotractor?” said an exasperated supporter threatening to start protest against the arrests in city. “He (Meshram) was working in pro-Vidarbha issue with a prominent leader and was also part of the newly created platform for separate Vidarbha. When everyone is voicing their aspiration, why these two people cannot,” he asked.

Cherring Dorje, superintendent of police of Chandrapur district, said that the arrests were made following inputs from reliable sources. “We have already made earlier arrests and chargesheet has been sent. Now the supplementary chargesheet shall be sent after the recent arrests. It requires authentic inputs for police to take action and it takes at its own time. We also have to take sanction from the government to slap charges under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” said Dorje refusing to comment on the status of the arrested duo and their involvement.

No comments: