Andhra Pradesh

Is Maoist movement losing steam?

Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathi   | Photo Credit: arranged

In an interview to People’s March, the prohibited magazine of the banned CPI (Maoist), sometime in March this year, its former general secretary Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi had said that the ‘revolutionary movement’ had been on the downside for the past eight years.

Ganapathi stepped down in the beginning of this year citing age and ill-health, and gave charge to his second-in-command Nambala Keshav Rao alias Basavraj.

In the interview, he had said: “ ...counter-revolutionary offensives and our subjective mistakes and weaknesses are the main reasons for the weakening of the revolutionary movement for the past eight years.”

He explained that offensive by the security forces in the form of Operation Green Hunt and ‘SAMADHAN’ saw deployment of 5.5 lakh police and paramilitary personnel in areas where the movement was active. “As a result, the mass base has become weak and the area of the movement shrank. We couldn’t extend the class struggle to the vast plains, rural and urban areas,” he said. He also pointed out that “...due subjective mistakes and weaknesses, we considerably lost leadership cadres and subjective forces. There were shortcomings in the campaign to rectify non-proletarian tendencies in the party and so couldn’t achieve expected results.”

He observed that “the Modi clique” was “unleashing an Emergency-like situation”. “Our utmost political task is to target this politics, mobilise oppressed people, take up constant agitation and propaganda programmes against Brahminic Hindu fascism through our class organisation and other organisations and to develop a militant movement through building a broad United Front to defeat those politics.”

Intel take

Intelligence agencies substantiate Ganapathi’s claim by saying that there had been a drop by over 60% when it came to violence across the nine Left Wing extremism-affected States. According to them, the number of violent incidents dropped from 833 in 2018 to 374 in 2019.While 126 Maoists were killed in 2018 from 427 incidents, 112 were killed in 2019 from 337 incidents. And the number of security forces killed by Maoists stood at 117 this year compared to 139 last year. For the past six months there has been stalemate between the security forces and the Maoists in the Andhra Odisha Border and Dandakaranya area, which are the Maoist strongholds, said a senior intelligence officer from Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence Bureau.

It is learnt that the CPI (Maoist) have opened a new front by the name Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh – Chhattisgarh Special Zonal Committee, and Gadchiroli is the hotbed.

According to a senior police officer engaged in anti-Maoist operation, the fact that the over dependence on IED (Improvised explosive devices) by the Maoists, proved that they were short of arms, ammunition and manpower. “There is a sharp drop in direct engagement by the extremists and 74% of the attacks are based on remotely-controlled IEDs. This was not the case in the earlier days, when they preferred to engage the security forces in a gun battle,” he said.

Not the first time

This was not the first time that Ganapathi had been vocal about the sagging movement. In 2013, the security forces had discovered a 7,000-worded letter written by him, in the capacity of general secretary, to his top cadres, where he expressed his unhappiness on the ebbing movement and leadership crisis. The politburo which is the think-tank of the CPI (Maoist) has shrunk from 14 in 2005 to 7 and the Central Committee Members (CC) has dropped from a strong 40 to 14.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 9:59:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/is-maoist-movement-losing-steam/article29426427.ece

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