MAOIST INSURGENCY: CHALLENGE AND RESPONSE Presented By Amiya K.Samanta
Milestones in Naxalite Movement March,1967 : A multiparty combination led by CPI-M was voted to power in West Bengal. Soon thereafter, a small CPI-M extremist group in Siliguri sub-division led an aggressive peasant movement. May 24: Attack on Police &death of Insp.Wangdi May 25 : Police firing; 7 female and 2 male killed
June 28 : Radio Peking Broadcast “front paw of the Indian revolutionary struggle”. July 5 : Peking Daily: “Spring thunder breaks over India.” Tension within CPM, specially students and youth August 1967 : Madurai meeting April 1968 : Burdwan Plenum Dec. 1968 : Cochin Congress: Expulsion and consolidation. 75% in Andhra, 25% in WB left the party. March, 1968 : Formation of the AICCCR April 22& May 1, 1969: Formation and launching of CPI-ML
Not all Maoist groups joined CPI-ML. Dakshin Desh group, known as Maoist Communist Center did not join. Andhra group minus Srikakulam group did not join. Charu Mazumdar’s Strategy : 1. Armed peasant struggle– politicisation and struggle should go hand in hand, 2. Peasant guerrilla squads, 3. Annihilation of class enemies, 4. Formation of small liberated areas, 5.Joining of small armed squads to make the PLA, 6. Joining of the liberated areas to make liberated zones, 7.Use of conventional weapons in guerrilla actions.
Structure of the CPI-ML Central Committee State Committees District Committees / local committees Guerrilla Squads Peoples’ Liberation Army Underground outfits Shelter/ Safe house, Dump/ storage Post Box Courier Contact points Tech. names
MCC Strategy 1. Politicization first, 2. Class struggle through local issues, 3.To punish class enemies through guerrilla squads, 4. Organize the workers too, 5. Procure arms when the ground is prepared, 6. Underground organization. MCC first started their organizing activities among the tribal in the Jungle Mahal areas of Burdwan in West Bengal. Late on they spread to nearby Hazaribagh and Gaya districts.
Mazumdar’s adventurism: 1) To destroy educational institutions as centers of colonial education, 2) To kill policemen,3) to denigrate national leaders, 4) To break jails, 5) To attack difficult targets, 6) To resort to indiscriminate killings, 7) Holding out false hopes, 8) To resort to difficult actions, 9) Floating counterproductive slogans, leading to split in the party. Mazumdar died in 1972 (26 August). But his ideological influence on the splinter groups by and large remained .
One of the many splinter groups was COC-CPI-ML,with K.G.Satyamurthy, Jagjit Singh, Suniti Ghosh, Kondapalli Sitaramaya as members. In 1980 Kondapalli broke away from the party and launched a new party CPI-ML(PWG). Its underground organization was widespread encompassing at least 10 states ; but it was most effective in Andhra Pradesh. Organization: Central Committee, State Committee, District Committee and regional committees and even forest committees.Actions by Area commander, Dalams (guerrilla squads) Front organizations like RSU, RCS,Jana Natya Mandali, Revolutionary Writes Association, Civil Liberties Committee etc. were on the surface carrying on propaganda and other jobs
Inner party struggle led to the expulsion of Sitaramiya in June 1992, and one Laxamana Rao took charge of the party as General Secretary. Although the PWG broadly followed the Charu Mazumdar’s line they made some significant changes in the strategy. 1) Increasing use of sophisticated weapons and explosive, 2) Arms supply from external and internal sources, 3) Kidnapping as a means of extorting money and showing strength, 4) To bring as many Maoist groups as possible under one umbrella, 5) To have front organizations on the surface for propaganda wand other public relation works.
6) Mobilize public support through seminars, meetings demonstrations etc. 7)To keep police actions under lease encouraged civil liberties organizations, like APDR, RSF etc. 8) Increasing use of explosives in terrorist actions, 9) Militarisation of the movement by relying more and more on arms and explosives, 10)More ideological tolerance than ever before.
Before the merger of PWG and the MCC, both came very close in the arena of struggle.Both had separate outfits. PWG’s area : Andhra, UP, Chattisgarh, Orissa, MP Karnataka, Maharashtra MCC’s Area : Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Cadres : PWG has 3,500 armed cadres 3000 fire arms ( AK Group, LMG, SLR) MCC : 3000 to 4000 armed cadres 2,500 fire arms. MCC : Peoples Guerrilla army (PGA) PWG : People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army(PGLA)
Joint operation and negotiation for a period of 4/5 years led to merger of PWG and MCC on 21 Sept. 2004. The new party is named CPI(Maoist). 1. Merger of “People’s Guerrilla Army” (MCC) and “People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army”(PWG) into Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) 2.Muppala Lakshaman Rao @ Ganapathi to be Secretary General of the new party. 3. Creation of “Compact Revolutionary Zone” should be the aim of the struggle. 4. Linkages with the fraternal paties in the neighbouring countries,ie, CPN-Maoist (Nepal)and CPB(Maoist) of Bhutan
Polit Bureau ; Top policy making body with 13 members 2. Central Committee with 38 members 3. Provincial Committees ; number varies: Bihar-24, AP: 32, Orissa-15, W.Bengal-13
4.a) In some cases Committees follow the administrative division like district, subdivision etc. In others topographical advantages are considered. So there are Special Zonal , Special Area, Zonal, Area Committees. Leadership: 1. MuppalaLakshman Rao @Ganapati 2.Prasanta Bose@Nirvoy
3.M.Koteswar Rao@Kisenji 4. N. Kesava Rao@Ganganna 5. M.Venugopal @Sonu 6.Kotakam Sudarsan @Anand 7Pramod Misra 8. Mallaraj Reddy 9.Sabyasachi Panda 10 Cherikuri rajkumar @Azad Azad was killed in a clash with Police at Adilabad. Kobad Gandhi is now in jail. Ideological leader, in favour of peace talk
Military Unit 5. Central Military Commission- at per with the Central committee. It plans strategies and actions. 6. Military units have three components: a) Main Force: Trained personnel. B) Auxiliary Force, c) People’s Militia. 7. Main Force is divided into Company, Platoon and it has Central/State Special Action team. 8.Aux. Force Consists of a) Local Guerrilla squad,b) Special Guerrilla Squad c) District /Division special squad.
Arms supply from following source: a) Purchase from International market b) From S.F.—about 2000, c) ULFA of the NE region, d) LTTE of Sri Lanka. , e) Nepal Maoist party , f) manufacturing own weapons: Engaged expert technicians Total holding: 18000 to 20000 Type: AK group, SLR, Insas, .303 etc
Explosive : Tactical change from January 2008: use of more explosives than firearms. Learnt this from Af-Pak Talibans. Results: i) More casualties, ii) halts the pace of offensive, iii) less risky Manufacture various types of mines to suit environs. Employment of technicians. Source: Purchase, Clandestine of forcible removal from mine godowns, looting etc Often unreported
PLGA:Composed of trained recruits, some paid. some ideologically committed. Recent trend is to recruit young. Mostly local youth-know terrain. Strength: 13000 to 14000 i) Ideology, training make them formidable. ll) Perfect tactical planning in some operations- Jahanabad, Koraput, Dantewadaa etc
Funds a)Extortion from rich contractors, businessmen in the mine and forest areas, b) Leaves collection contract from forest Deptt. c) Siphoning of rural development funds of the Government,d) Kidnapping for ransom, e) Looting of rich land lords houses etc. Total annual collection:over Rs 1000 crores
Expenditure: a) Arms, explosive, equipment purchase, b) salary payment, c) maintenance of martyrs’ families, d) rural development work in selected areas, e) medical treatment, f) meeting and party expenditure, g) information network h) aid to surface organization for campaign, i) publicatio of propaganda literature
Managing surface politics to their advantage : They are guns for hire. Power of guns to keep opposition under control and win election. Help in times of need. No political consensus even for ‘ green hunt’. No consensus that it is even a big security threat . In Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal surface political parties have used them against the political opponents.
Media Manipulation : Get favourable things published. Kishenji’s high profile appearance in the media,Propaganda through surrogate organizations. Interviews in remote jungles help build up image of heroes dedicated to the cause of poor.
Intervention of civil society support: Like of Mahasweta and Arundhuti, campaign for calling off ‘green hunt’-war against tribal, for dialogue, for development first, no human right violation. State fighting for corporate to secure minerals.20 m. displaced –56% tribal
Propaganda by surface friendly units: i) Human right groups: PUCL, APDR,Tribal-Dalit organisations ii)Publications creating a favourable mind set: Ex. Binayak Sen iii) Student associations iv) Seminars, meetings
Nature of the insurgency: 1. Terrain protected: No spread in the plains during last 4 decades. 2. Militarism: so more Guaverist and Rege Debre fashion elitist. 3.Attacking—Battle oriented and not mass organisation minded. 4. No class struggle but struggle with state power. 5. Paid soldiers—mercenaries, paid technicians and experts.
6. More attack on Govt.properties and on insignifocant persons 7. Therefore less ideological and consequently tends to have criminal propensity. More extortions, kidnapping etc for money. 8. No real mass base, but sustained by fear of the gun.
Insurgency area: According to HM 23 states, 135 districts, over 2000 PSs, encompassing an area of more than a lakh sq.km. Nature of insurgency varies from state to state. In W. Bengal it is no insurgency, primarily inter party clash.
Violence Profile Year Civilian S F Maoists Total 2005 281 150 285 638 2006 266 128 348 742 2007 250 238 208 696 2008 270 224 227 721 2009 392 312 294 998 2010-Apl 124 137 87 348
Response: PM: No quarter should be given to those who have taken upon themselves to challenge the authority of the Indian stateand the fabric of our democratic polity.” (21 April,2010) 1. Co-ordinated Police Action, 2. Cease fire and dialogue 3. Development of the area Development’s pre-condition is peace. So state opted for police action
GOI’s dilema: i)Police operation vs. Development, priority or simultaneous. ii) Army-Air force deployment or only SF iii) An overseeing authority or no change Decided in favor of: simultaneous, SF and no change Civil society played a big role in making choice
Operation Plan: i) To establish state authority on a territory and sustain it, ii) To push them to certain pre determined areas, iii) To make the high ways safe, iv) To contact people to win them over v) Intelligence from grass root level vi) Coordination of intelligence from all sources. Vii) Use of sanitized local police more,
vii) Modern, updated equipments IED safety—MRAP,NIRF, PING and unmanned ground vehicle vii) Use of helicopters: UAVs viii) Interrogation for information in an “expanding torrents”.
Rehabilitation measures: i) Sincere, prompt ii) Authority to pardon and reward to local officers iii)To revive salwa judum in a less aggressive form within the legal framework of the right of private defense, avoiding SC’s “unrealistic activism.”
Dialogue is an uncertain game. The interlude is used to rejuvenate the strength of Party, enhance mass contact. State also fails to keep promise/ This time the dialogue has been used to gain propaganda advantage and also to delay and confuse police operation.
Development : Two facets: a) Fund intensive and b) Improvement through systemic change a) is more popular for flow of funds. b) is land distribution, empowerment, participation in public matters etc. Ready at hand is the report of Expert Group on Development Challenges in Extremist Affected Areas( April,2008)
Not much attention. Then Forest Empowerment Act of 2006. PM has urged for implementation. Not yet fully implemented. Report of Bihar Land Reform Commission. Shelved as soon as placed before the Assembly (Dec. 2009) Private jury of six eminent persons in April,2010: Recommended 1. Stop acquisition of agri & forest land, 2. Disclose MOU details,
3. Rehabilitate displaced tribal, 4.Stop environmental degradation, 5. Stop Green Hunt. Govt. model is to sustain privatisation and globalisation. Under contemplation is an enactment on giving share of mineral extraction and some regulatory power of such exploitation.
Jharkhand with richest mineral deposits has 2500 hidden mines. Looting of resources without any accountability.Bailadila and Nijhnigarh in Chattisgarh. In Niyam Giri hills in Kalahandi in Orissa. 1. Environment destruction, 2. Eviction of Tribals, 3. Forest out of bounds, 4. Hardship for high price Some licenses cancelled .
Developmental paradigms are complex. Systemic changes are uphill tasks. The insurgency is no mass upsurge so far, but it may turn out to be one if neglected for long.