The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has told the Supreme Court that Maoist ideologues and sympathisers are more dangerous than the armed cadres of the CPI (Maoist) as they were making all efforts to keep the Naxal movement alive.
“The ideologues and supporters of the CPI (Maoist) in cities and towns have undertaken a concerted and systematic propaganda against the state to project it in a poor light and also malign it through disinformation… In fact, it is these ideologues who have kept the Maoist movement alive and are in many ways more dangerous than the cadres of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army,” the MHA said in an affidavit in the apex court.
Noting that continuing Maoist violence had led to killings of over 8,100 civilians and policemen since 2001, the affidavit said the activities of Naxals were a serious impediment to the nation-building process. The armed cadres had destroyed thousands of development and infrastructure facilities and kidnapped proactive, sincere district collectors to prevent development from reaching the poor, it stated.
The Centre’s affidavit is in response to a Supreme Court notice on a PIL plea seeking directions to the Centre and nine Naxal-affected States to formulate a policy on the Maoist issue.
The MHA said initiating legal proceedings against the ideologues had often resulted in negative publicity for law enforcement agencies due to the ‘propaganda machinery’ of the CPI (Maoist).
“However, regardless of this, the Union of India is committed to combating this problem with all the resources at its disposal and the efforts are gradually bearing fruit on the ground,” the affidavit said.
The MHA said the Maoists “profess a violent ideological line to overthrow the democratically elected parliamentary form of government in India through a combination of armed insurrection, mass mobilisation of certain sections of the society and tactical partnerships with other insurgent groups operating in different parts of the country.”
“… since 2001, the Maoists have killed 5,969 civilians, often branding them as police informers, class enemies etc. An overwhelming majority of such people killed are poor ‘adivasis’ [tribals] whose cause the Maoists and their supporters profess to espouse. During the same period, the Maoists have also killed 2,147 security personnel and looted 3567 firearms from them,” the affidavit stated.