Any honest and sincere readings of the above resolutions in the world body, which India has never opposed, make it amply clear that the Maoists are nothing but terrorists. In fact, to refresh the memory of the Prime Minister, it may be recalled that while presiding over a task force of nine Maoist-hit states on February 23, 2006, none other than the then Special Secretary to the Union Home Ministry AK Mitra had asserted: “Maoist problem is not a simple problem of law and order. This is a terrorist (emphasis added) and inter-state problem.”
The Prime Minister invariably cites the usual factors of underdevelopment, corruption in bureaucracy, police atrocities and exploitation of Vanvasis and poor people contributing to the growing influence of Maoists. But that is one part of the story. He invariably forgets the other part, which is that as is the case in Kashmir and many parts of the north-east, people are supporting the so-called revolutionaries in the “Red Corridor” in eastern/central India not out of love and reverence but because of terror and fear. Maoists and their leaders are flourishing because money, important for them to procure sophisticated weapons, is no longer any problem. Most Maoist leaders have over the past two decades acquired large properties in the urban areas with the money that flows to them through extortion, which, according to one estimate, yields around Rs 3,000 crore annually. And those exhorted are not only contractors, businessmen, doctors and engineers but also poor labourers and farmers, who are forced to part with a substantial portion of their earnings. They raise funds through extortion or by setting-up parallel administrations to collect taxes in rural areas where local governments and the Indian State appear absent. This is not all. Smuggling of contrabands and wood as well as poppy cultivations also enrich their coffers.
And what is worse, the Maoists have strengthened their links with the notorious terrorist groups outside the country, including the LTTE and ISI. In a series of articles, the weekly Blitz of Bangladesh has already exposed how arms are secretly distributed amongst the members of small communist groups as well as some of the Islamist groups in Bangladesh and how Nepalese Maoists are conspiring to re-begin notorious activities of Naxalites in Indian West Bengal. According to the paper, “Several analysts are seeing hidden cooperation between Al Qaeda and Nepalese Maoists, which helped Maoists in attaining such landslide victory in Nepal. There is reportedly a hidden agreement between the two in allowing Al Qaeda outfits in the South Asian region [in Nepal] to operate without any legal obstacles. Now, after the victory of Maoists, it is anticipated that activities of Al Qaeda and other Islamists terror groups will greatly increase. It is also learnt from several sources that, Al Qaeda is patronizing Maoist operatives in Nepal as well as spread of extremist Islamism in the South Asian region under the garb of Communism. International community needs to look into this extremely important issue forthwith and fix appropriate strategies in combating rise and spread of Maoism, Communism or Islamism, for the sake of regional and global security.”
It may be recalled that Maoist groups in India took the initiative in forming in 2001 Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia, better known as CCOMPOSA, in some secret locations in the jungle of central India. Its members are Naxalite or Maoist outfits from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. In August 2006, CCOMPOSA held its fourth conference in Nepal. Obviously, with Maoists emerging as the most important political force in Nepal (thanks to India under Manmohan Singh, but it is a different story), their fraternal counterpart in India have become more powerful. Recently, a truck loaded with more than 1000 kg of explosives and a large number of detonators was apprehended on Bihar-Nepal border.
If all these acts do not make Maoists terrorists, what else do, Mr Prime Minister? By all means, you talk to them, but for the country’s sake, first defeat them. The Maoists have waged a war against the country. Talks now could at best lead a truce. But then truce is no substitute for a lasting peace.