Urban areas turning into hubs of subversive activities: Will the Government respond now?
By Anoop AJ
The Government of India has finally acknowledged that there are many Naxal organisations active in Delhi and the surrounding suburbs. The MoS for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh, in response to a question in the Parliament in December 2011, disclosed the names of various Maoist organisations apart from the city committee of the CPI (Maoist). They include Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), People’s Democratic Front of India (PDFI), Democratic Students Union (DSU), and Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). The UPA government also had to accept that organisations like the CRPP, led by the Parliament attack mastermind S.A.R Geelani and DSU, one of the prominent student organisations in Jawahar Lal Nehru University are nothing but Maoist front organisations.
The Maoists have a two-pronged organisational work. Their primary work is to mobilise masses in rural areas and thereby develop the organisation and its armed cadre, in rural areas. The secondary work is urban based. Delhi is one of the most important strategic urban areas for the Maoist protracted revolution.
The Maoists aspire to control India through the proletariat – the industrial workers. This group, according to their plan, will lead the revolution at its last stages and will take on the reins of leadership of the nation. This group will consist of the proletariat, supported by the semi-proletariat and the petty bourgeoisie. Urban industrial labourers in the organised sectors, both public and private, casual labourers and the rural plantation labourers form the core of the group which roughly comes to around seven crores. The skilled workers like masons, carpenters, handicraftsmen, mechanics etc and others like rickshaw pullers, auto rickshaw drivers, rural construction workers, fishermen, house servants etc. constitute the semi-proletariat. All these groups are in large numbers in urban areas and if the Urban plan of the Maoists succeed to bring a majority of them to their fold, maybe over a long period, the Maoists will be able to create havoc in major cities of India.
In July 2009, a Connaught Place businessman Praveen Sharma was arrested for supplying electronic devices like walkie-talkies, radio wireless sets, recorders, world band receivers and transistors to Maoists. Kobad Gandhy, a member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI (Maoist) and the head of the Sub-Committee on Mass Organisations (SUCOMO) was arrested in Delhi in September 2009. He was responsible for mobilising the workers in the industrial zones of Delhi, especially in the Okhla area. A couple, in charge of Maoist activities in Delhi, Gopal Mishra and his wife were arrested in Delhi on May 2010. They were responsible for recruitment of talented youngsters for the party cadre and leadership, in addition to running a trade union ‘Mehnathkush Mazdoor Morcha’ and expanding party among workers in Noida Sector-IV industrial area and north-east Delhi. Recently, the woman Maoist alleged to have played the role of a conduit between Maoists and Essar group in Chhatisgarh was arrested in Delhi. All of these instances and the disclosure by the Home Ministry prove the above mentioned tactical objective of the CPI (Maoist).
The arrest of Surya Devra Prabhakar in March 2010 disclosed the blue prints of the activities along Ahmedabad – Mumbai stretch with Surat, incidentally an industrial hub, as its headquarters. Around 11 important leaders of the urban network of Maoist organisations were arrested in the Surat police range in the past year, including Kura Devender – a senior leader of CPI (ML) Janashakti, Sujata Swami – the wife of Mumbai area committee secretary of CPI (Maoist), Shakeel Pasha – secretary of Surat area committee and many others. Many arrests including that of CPI (Maoist) Politburo member Balraj in 2010 revealed activities of Maoists in tier two cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna etc. Maoist activity in Kolkata is dated to the Naxalbari days and is still very much alive.
The Maoist front organisations in urban areas, as notified by the government, not only play a very crucial support role to the underground cadre, but also carry out most of the propaganda work. It is an open secret that most of the seminars, rallies, programmes etc. by these front organisations (remember the hue and cry when Azad was killed or against the Operation Greenhunt) was originally planned by the official propaganda department of CPI (Maoist).
For all these reasons, the urban work is as important as the work in rural and tribal areas. Now, after the Government accepting this truth of the existence of Maoist organisations in cities, the big question is how will be its response to it. Will it follow its ‘traditional’ line of appeasing the so called ‘human rights activists’ and continue to keep these valuable pieces of information in the shelves of oblivion? Or exhibit the required political will and curb the activities of these organisations?