Saturday, September 05, 2020

From the Archives (August 18, 1970): Rounding up the naxalites

18 AUGUST 2020 00:15 IST
UPDATED: 17 AUGUST 2020 21:45 IST

The Calcutta police seems to be slowly getting the measure of the naxalites and has arrested quite a few leaders of the movement in the city. Equally important has been the fact that the naxalite student terrorists are often meeting with strong opposition in the schools and colleges which they try to raid. There have been a number of clashes with rival organisations and some of the more serious ones have been with members of the Communist Party (Marxist). This is not surprising since the naxalites are a breakaway group from the C.P. (M) and disagree with the main organisation on the question of doctrine and tactics. It was in 1967 when the C.P (M)-led United Front was in office in West Bengal, that the party was faced with a revolt in the Naxalbari area of the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district. The local C.P. (M) branch, led by Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santal, began to attack jotedars and forcibly occupy the lands. The C.P. (M) expelled Mazumdar from the party and the Government ordered the police to go into action. The movement was quickly put down since Naxalbari is a flat area without jungle cover. But this was the period of the Cultural Revolution in China and Peking Radio came out for Mazumdar and condemned the C.P. (M) as reactionary

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