Thursday, April 08, 2010

Naxals eye campuses for new recruits

MK Madhusoodan / DNA

Bangalore: Not the villages, Karnataka’s campuses are the new hunting grounds for naxals. Intelligence dossier of the state police reveals naxals are scouring campuses in Mangalore and Shimoga for new recruits and sympathisers.

“Perhaps, it’s the ideology that attracts these students. An anti-establishment sentiment is being driven into the mind of these youngsters,” the intelligence report said.

Saketh Rajan, the man who started the Maoist movement in south India and who was shot dead in 2005, is a legend in this part of the state.

Naxals are using Rajan’s charisma to "inspire" students. “Universities like Kuvempu, Mangalore are potential training grounds for naxals,” a senior police officer said.

“Most of the arrested naxals are fresh graduates. Some of them are well-qualified and one was a journalist from Shimoga,” another police official said.

Director general of police Ajai Kumar Singh and his officers have been taking a holistic approach to tackle the problem within Karnataka.

“We want to win over the sympathisers of the outfit. So we decided to set up an anti-naxal force (ANF) in the most affected areas. We have scaled down the combing operations and are also interacting with the people who were feel violence is the only way out,” he said.

Shimoga, Mangalore, Udupi and Chickamagalur are the worst naxal-hit areas.

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