Kerala

Probe launched into video of ‘Maoist’ leader

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the State-level Internal Security Investigation Team have launched an inquiry into the source of a video of wanted Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Roopesh, alias Praveen, telecast on some Malayalam television channels on Monday evening.

The video showed Roopesh in army attire with a Sten gun giving a monologue of waging an armed struggle against the government as both the ruling and Opposition mainstream political parties were hand in glove on issues concerning Dalits and the environment. His picture was blurred and the location of the video appeared to be some jungle.

A compact disc (CD) containing the video clipping, along with a press note, was initially delivered by a messenger to a Malayalam news channel at around 3 p.m. Soon after the channel aired the video at 5 p.m., copies of the same were put inside the press boxes of a few more channels at the Calicut Press Club at 5.45 p.m.

Sources in the intelligence agencies said the motive behind circulating the CD to the visual media was propaganda as the CPI (Maoist) was not in the limelight for quite sometime in the State. The media had been silent after the sighting of Maoists in some northern districts last year.

The combing operation carried by the Thunderbolt commando force of the State police might have pushed the cadres into the forests. Roopesh, who had worked with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) [Peoples’ War Group] before joining the CPI(Maoist) in the State, is on the wanted list in multiple cases, including for sheltering CPI (Maoist) Polit Bureau member Malla Raji Reddy and his wife, who were nabbed from Angamaly in 2007.

Roopesh is a member of the newly formed South Indian Regional Committee of Maoists, which is active along the Kerala-Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. The police believe the video could be to highlight the presence of the proscribed outfit as cadre strength had depleted in Naxalite-affected areas.

Maoist cadres were surrendering in large numbers but at the same time, recruitment drives were being held at many places. At present, the CPI (Maoist) did not pose a formidable challenge to the security forces in the State, the sources said.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 12:43:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/probe-launched-into-video-of-maoist-leader/article6439448.ece

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