FAN­NING THE FIRES : A VIEW­POINT

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - LT GEN­ERAL (RETD) P.C. KA­TOCH The views ex­pressed herein are the per­sonal views of the au­thor.

Our en­e­mies are hell bent on fan­ning our in­ter­nal fires and con­ti­gu­ity to in­ter­na­tional bor­ders is hardly a pre-req­ui­site for pump­ing weapons, fake cur­rency, drugs and in­fil­tra­tion into In­dia

The re­cent (Septem­ber 2012) re­cov­ery from Silo­dar for­est (on bor­der of Bi­har and Jhark­hand) of a US-made Colt and Hart-man­u­fac­tured M-16 ri­fle (a pro­hib­ited bore by US Army), an Ital­ian pis­tol and UK-made bul­let­proof jacket from an arms sup­plier Pra­ful Malakar and CPIM/Maoist, Zonal Com­man­der Anil Ya­dav needs to be viewed ex­tremely se­ri­ously. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, an AK-56 was re­cov­ered from Patna. Then was the news that the CEO of a Hy­der­abad-based com­pany, Leckon In­fra Pri­vate Lim­ited, and seven em­ploy­ees of the same com­pany were ar­rested while en route to sup­ply 50 kg of ex­plo­sives to the Maoists on the Andhra-Odisha bor­der. The CEO (named Bhu­pal) was re­port­edly car­ry­ing the ex­plo­sive in his own SUV in ad­di­tion to mo­bile phones, bat­ter­ies and Maoist lit­er­a­ture in the form of books in Tel­ugu. Leckon In­fra Pri­vate Lim­ited is work­ing on projects worth ` 291 crore in the Maoist-af­fected ar­eas of Odisha and Jhark­hand. Pos­si­bil­i­ties of Leckon In­fra Pri­vate Lim­ited hav­ing been in­fil­trated by Maoists and/or co­erced by Maoists to sup­ply ex­plo­sives un­der threat ex­ist.

When in­sur­gency broke out in the Kash­mir Val­ley in 1989-90, some peo­ple talked about how long such a rag­tag move­ment with coun­try­made weapons could sur­vive. What fol­lowed is for all to see. The same rag­tag-cliché was be­ing at­trib­uted to the Maoists over the years de­spite the Prime Min­is­ter de­scrib­ing it a ma­jor threat to na­tional se­cu­rity all along. The Maoists may have ear­lier re­lied on weapons and equip­ment snatched from se­cu­rity forces aside from coun­try-made ones but not any­more. Be­sides, the Maoists dubbed ‘rag­tag’ had in their very open­ing rounds dis­played deadly adept­ness in use of ex­plo­sives, their core group hav­ing had ex­ten­sive train­ing from the Lib­er­a­tion Tigers of Tamil Ee­lam (LTTE).

The man­ner in which they are ex­pand­ing their ` 1,500-crore an­nual in­come through ex­tor­tion and loot­ing also has the tell­tale mark of the LTTE, with ex­pand­ing poppy farm­ing (Tal­iban style) per­haps on ad­vice from Lashkar-e-Toiba/Al Qaeda. The man­ner, in which so­phis­ti­cated and se­cure Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment was dis­cov­ered from un­der­ground caches in Odisha few months back, care­fully wrapped and sealed for fu­ture use, too had the LeT hall­mark. Uzis and AK-47s had been dis­cov­ered ear­lier in Maoists hide­outs as well as a num­ber of lap­tops al­beit government liked to keep the lat­ter un­der wraps. Now China is sup­ply­ing as­sault ri­fles to the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) in Ma­nipur and the Maoists through Kachen rebels in north Myan­mar. The Maoists have now com­menced their op­er­a­tions in As­sam as well.

En­deav­our of both China and Pak­istan is to syn­er­gise the in­sur­gent out­fits in In­dia to cre­ate a com­pact rev­o­lu­tion­ary zone (CRZ) all along the foothills of Hi­malayas from Jammu and Kash­mir to As­sam and link this arch through the Maoist-af­fected states right down to Ker­ala in the South. Ker­ala is al­ready in­fested by LeT and the Pop­u­lar Front of In­dia (PFI) hav­ing picked up weapons against the In­dian state. There are al­ready some 40 mil­lion il­le­gal weapons cir­cu­lat­ing in In­dia with an an­nual trade of $4 mil­lion.

Our en­e­mies are hell bent on fan­ning our in­ter­nal fires and con­ti­gu­ity to in­ter­na­tional bor­ders is hardly pre­req­ui­site for pump­ing weapons, fake cur­rency, drugs and in­fil­tra­tion into In­dia. The nexus be­tween the CPI (Maoist) and PLA of Ma­nipur is grow­ing stronger and the lat­ter is pro­vid­ing train­ing to Maoists in Jhark­hand and Saranda forests. Should Begum Khaleda Zia and her Bangladesh Na­tion­al­ist Party (BNP) re­turn to power in Bangladesh in 2014, the anti-In­dia ter­ror­ist camps in that coun­try are likely to be re­vived. In­dia needs to make con­certed ef­forts to ad­dress the Maoists in­sur­gency. Mere state­ments that the is­sue will be re­solved in next two to three years will not suf­fice.

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