Sunday, May 29, 2011

Naxalism is at city's doorsteps: Former top cop

Prafulla Marpakwar, May 17, 2011, 05.21am IST

MUMBAI: The Naxal movement, which used to be confined to Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, and later to Gondia and Nanded districts, has reached the doorsteps of the metropolis, due to the failure of the Congress-led Democratic Front government in tackling the problems of tribals.

Former director-general of police Arvind Inamdar on Monday expressed concern over the emergence of Naxalites in a big way in Thane and Pune. "Certainly, it's a matter of serious concern. Prima facie, the Naxalites seem to have succeeded in ensuring the support of tribals and intellectuals in urban areas. As a result of that, their movement is getting support in big cities," Inamdar told TOI.

In 1977, when Inamdar was Nagpur's deputy commissioner of police, he had nabbed Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, a top Naxal leader in those days and later in 1992, he had seized arms worth Rs 8 lakh from a Naxal sympathizer in that city.

Inamdar pointed out that the naxals were now concentrating on urban areas. "It appears that their social networking is very strong, and as a result, they have been able to attract urban intellectuals," he said.

On the reasons for the growth of the Naxal movement, Inamdar said they had impressed upon the tribals that the government and industrialists were exploiting them. "It's a fact that they have been robbed of their livelihood. Their traditions and culture have been neglected. Therefore, they look to the Naxals for justice," he said.

Inamdar warned that if they join hands with terrorists and gangsters, it will be the worst-ever situation. "In the past, there were reports of naxals joining hands with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE). Then there were reports that there was a nexus (between them). If they join hands, it will be an alarming situation," he said.

Gadchiroli district collector Atul Patne, who has taken measures to bring the tribals into the mainstream, felt that more efforts were needed to ensure that villagers don't succumb to Naxal pressure. "We will have to put in more efforts, we will have to involve all sections of society," Patne said.