Kerala

Maoists turn to urban youth for recruits

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The Maoist move could be a precursor to orchestrating more ‘theatrical political action’ on social issues.

Maoists are finding fertile ground for recruits among a small segment of educated urban youth who feel a strong sense of alienation from main stream society for various political, social, and ideological reasons, State police investigators say.

The Kabani Dalam, the squad of armed Maoists who engaged police commandos in a gun battle in Wayanad district recently, is attempting to make a political presence in urban areas, through certain ‘front organisations’ populated by such ‘disfranchised’ youth, they say.

Investigators believe that the Maoist move could be a precursor to orchestrating more ‘theatrical political action’ on social issues, mainly those relating to environment pollution, gender inequality, caste discrimination, and resistance to radical groups which reckon themselves arbitrators of public morality.

The police say they have ‘identified’ several persons who they believe form the frontline of the ‘trend which has the potential to gather momentum.’

The others are believed to be responsible for the printing and dissemination of anonymous pamphlets and posters and organising meetings.

The police suspect that the armed members of the Kabani Dalam, comprising four men and three women, are shuttling between their forest sanctuaries and urban safe houses and could be hiding in plain sight.

Investigators say it is possible that they are drawing succour from their urban ‘sympathisers,’ probably by concealing their true identity from them.

The presence of armed and uniformed Maoist squads has been reported at least 33 times, mostly from forests in north Kerala in the past two years.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:20:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/maoists-turn-to-urban-youth-for-recruits/article6691399.ece

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