Concern over Maoist attacks

Earlier incidents show the banned party can strike at will

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has expressed serious concern over a string of incidents involving the banned Communist party of India (Maoist) in the State recently.

At least two incidents, the attack on Agraharam Resort at Tirunelli in Wayanad and at the Indo-Japanese joint venture Nitta Gelatin India Limited, in Kochi this month, have left officials puzzled despite the MHA warning the State government of the CPI (Maoist) opening up a new war front in the Sahyadri (Western Ghats) border region of Karnataka-Kerala-Tamil Nadu.

Both the incidents had some parallels, coinciding with the celebration of the 10th anniversary celebration of the party. The armed attackers at Tirunelli made their intention clear through the posters pasted on the walls of the resort demanding land for landless tribespeople. Likewise, the masked assailants left behind two leaflets demanding closure of the Gelatin company. For several years, the local people have been waging a protest against the company discharging waste from its plant in Thrissur district into the Chalakudy river.

Officials said the incidents showed that the banned party could strike at will, particularly employing its affiliated fringe modules, in the State. The Kochi incident would also be the first major urban centre in the State to record a Left extremist attack unlike an incident reported in rural regions on earlier occasions. Significantly, the Western Ghat Zonal CPI (Maoist) has claimed that its urban action team carried out the attack, thereby giving rise to suspicions about its cadre operations in the State.

The reported presence of Maoists at Cherkala in Kasaragod district early this month and in rural belts of Kozhikode and the Kallamala region of western Attappady in Palakkad district last month also reveals the MHA’s growing concerns.

The CPI (Maoist)’s message at the International Conference in Solidarity with the people’s war in India in Malan in September had already declared to widen its support base in southern States even as the party was losing cadres in its strongholds such as Dandakaranya area in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh, the offiicals said.

Incidents coincide with party anniversary fete

Kochi attack first major incident in urban centre

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