New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) At least 57 civil rights groups, trade unions and student organisations as well as the Hurriyat Conference are under the constant vigil of intelligence agencies for their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist, according to an official document.
A home ministry circular alerts heads of paramilitary forces and police in Maoist-affected states that the CPI-Maoist has 57 “front bodies” of peasants, labourers, women, students, tribals and trade unions who have helped the banned outfit raise the level of its tactical warfare, including winning court battles and getting their arrested leaders released.
The circular, according to sources, was sent out days before the home ministry in a stringent warning to civil society groups said that those who speak in favour of Maoist guerrillas will face legal action and 10 years’ imprisonment under Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The home ministry on April 6 said the government had noticed that some Maoist leaders were directly contacting certain NGOs and intellectuals to propagate their ideology and “persuade them to take steps (and) support the CPI-Maoist ideology”.
The circular from the Intelligence Bureau says that about 30 of these organisations were actively involved in popularising the Maoist ideology also in the states that are not affected by Left-wing extremism, like the national capital region, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Haryana, an official said, requesting not to be named.
Among the groups being watched include People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) that has Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar as one of its key members. The group was formed in 1976 by Jai Prakash Narain.
The others being closely watched are the Krantikari Lok Adhikar Aangathan of Uttarakhand, the Revolutionary People’s Front of Kerala, the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, a political party that has fielded candidates for the Madhya Pradesh elections, the Disha Sanskritik Manch of Haryana and the Bandi Mukti Committee of West Bengal.
The official said that these organisations, according to the IB circular, were “working for the cause of the Maoists”.
“It is after these front bodies have done the groundwork that the armed activity (of the CPI-Maoist) would start. These organisations supplement the war effort of the party,” the circular claims, apprehending that the guerrillas may launch more “well-planned and focussed” attacks outside their strongholds in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and other affected states.
The Leftist guerrillas, according to the IB, are also planning to reach out to other terrorist and separatist groups in the country including the United Liberation Front of Asom and the Hurriyat Conference in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Though the intelligence inputs don’t suggest any strategic alliance but Maoists have started corresponding with them,” said the official.