Thursday, May 06, 2010

Naxals cashing in on poverty in Delhi By: Abhishek Anand

By: Abhishek Anand

Maoist held in city reveals the new strategy of the ultras

Those who claim to be the saviours of the poorest of the poor in the country are themselves at the forefront of

Target practice: Anu, wife of Naxal leader Gopal Mishra in police custody. She actively recruited poor labourers into Maoist fold

a massive scam that involves fleecing money out of them to fight for their rights and liberty.

Sustained interrogation of Gopal Mishra, a close aide of Naxal ideologue Kobad Ghandy who was arrested from east Delhi on April 25, has told the police that he was receiving funds from one Banarsi Subramanium who is based in Sitamarhi, Bihar, to raise sleeper Naxal cells in Delhi.

Highly-placed sources in the Bihar police told MiD DAY that most of this money comes through extortion. "They threaten the poor and rich alike. They act in the garb of carrying on a mission for the poor," a senior Bihar police officer told MiD DAY from Sitamarhi over phone.

Even in Delhi, the Naxal sympathisers were targeting the poor only.

"Their primary target was usually the displaced labourers," a Delhi Police Special Cell police officer pointed out.
He added that Mishra's wife Kanchan alias Anu, who was arrested along with him, was acting as his manager. "She used to search poor labourers and fix a meeting with his husband so that they can be brainwashed and recruited to carry out Naxal designs in the city," the officer said.

Sources said Anu came in touch with Maoist leaders in 1999. "She was given some money and pamphlets to recruit new members and was specifically told to target poor labourers in Delhi," they said.

Apart from Rs 72,500 in cash, a laptop and a diary that were seized from Mishra's house in east Delhi's Shahdra, the police is on the lookout for the pamphlets that were being used as publicity material by the couple and which would help the cops to establish their link with the Maoists.

Labour lost
Gopal is a postgraduate from Bengal, his wife Anjali is a graduate from Varanasi. Both the accused had joined the party five years ago and were tasked with organising the urban unit. According to the police, the most probable recruits were the displaced labourers. This is the reason why Gopal initially chose to stay near the industrial sectors of Noida before shifting base to northeast Delhi which has a huge floating population of labourers. During his two-and-a-half-year stay in Delhi and adjoining Noida with his wife and only son, Gopal had recruited more than 25 people into the Maoist fold with the active support of his wife, police said.

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