Monday, March 19, 2007

Recent killings indicate Maoists ready for 'war'

[ 19 Mar, 2007 0237hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

PATNA: The recent killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahato in Jharkhand and 54 policemen in Chattisgarh prove that Maoists are now fully prepared for the "people's war".

The official statement, signed by CPI(Maoist) general secretary Ganapathi and released on February 19, after successful completion of CPI(Maoist) 9th Party Congress, had clearly indicated that Maoists were preparing for big attacks.

The Party Congress, termed as "Unity Congress", was held in January-February, 2007, somewhere in the forest area along Orissa-Jharkhand border.

According to the CPI(Maoist) official press communique, the Unity Congress resolved to advance the people's war throughout the country, further upgrade its Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) to regular People's Liberation Army (PLA), deepen its mass base and wage a militant mass movement against the "neo-liberal policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation pursued by ruling classes on the dictates of imperialists."

According to the release, the Party Congress, the highest decision-making body of the party, was attended by 100 senior Maoist leaders from 16 states. The conclave re-elected Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi as party general secretary.

According to reports reaching here, Ganapathi, while addressing the hardcore Maoist leaders from across the country, had said, "No more hit and run. Now, time has come to spread in the towns, identify specific targets and attack them with precision."

It was a clear appeal to Maoists to launch all-out attack on high-profile targets.

The killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahato on March 4 had all the elements of a typical Maoist "surprise attack".

As the 38-year old MP was watching a football match organised to mark the Holi festival at Bakuria village in Jharkhand's East Singhbhum District, 40-45 Maoists, including women members, suddenly overpowered the bodyguards, snatched their sophisticated weapons and fired at the MP and his associates.

The MP, one of his party colleague and two bodyguards died on the spot, while his another party colleague succumbed to his injuries later.

The Extremists raised slogans before leaving the spot with four INSAS rifles and ammunition looted from the body guards.

The CPI(Maoist) later claimed responsibility for the killing by putting up handwritten posters in the villages of Hadia and Lango under the Ghorabandh Police Station, far away from the site of the killings. The posters claimed that Mahato had instigated villagers at Lango to kill 11 Maoists.

They cited two reasons behind Mahato's killing. First, the late leader had asked contractors not to pay "levy"to the Maoists, and, secondly, for supporting the anti-Maoist movement being led by the Nagarik Suraksha Samiti in East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum Districts.

Incidentally, the ruthless attacks by Maoists were carried out in the backdrop of the Union government claim that extremism in the country had declined by 6.15 per cent, from 1,608 incidents in 2005 to 1,509 in 2006.

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