Maoists killing ‘Maoists’

Government has long been  utilising splinter groups and renegades from the insurgency movement to crush militancy, particularly in North East and Jammu and Kashmir. In Kashmir many street protesters have been recruited in the state police to enhance the intelligence service of Security Forces. And now deserters from the CPI (Maoist) apparently on ideological grounds are being pitted against Maoist guerillas to help the administration finish Maoist movement, particularly in the state of Jharkhand. In truth caste is such an obnoxious ‘invisible’ or visible social institution in India that it even affects Maoists. Maoism is of no help to wipe out caste prejudices. Caste is one of the major factors, delaying Indian revolution, long overdue.

A predominantly Ganjhu Dalit caste section of the Maoists in Jharkhand, quit the CPI (Maoist) between 2002 and 2004, ostensibly to protest the Yadav domination in the party. This section then formed the Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC) to protect the interests of their own community. There are allegations that the state’s top police officials had facilitated the formation of splinter groups TSPC, PLFI and JLT in 2004, and continue to enjoy good relations with them. In the previous Lok Sabha, Palamu was represented by one Kameshwar Baitha, a former Regional Committee Member of the CPI (Maoist), who hails from a village in Pandu, a block adjacent to Vishrampur. Ten members of the CPI (Maoist) were murdered in March 2013, allegedly by the TSPC cadres in Chatra’s Lakramanda hamlet. At least six of the ten had been shot at point blank range, after they surrendered. In retaliation, the CPI (Maoist) cadres in Jharkhand allegedly murdered 16 members of the break away faction in cold blood on 08 August 2014 night. This has been the highest number of casualties involving a Maoist splinter group in Jharkhand state. The August 2014 attack occurred in Palamu district’s Vishrampur block.

The Bihar-Jharkhand-North Chattis-garh special area committee claims that zonal commander Anandji and area commander Vijay Paswan of the TSPC have been killed. The Maoists also claim that they had killed senior TSPC leaders in Kauriya village’s Choti Kauriya hamlet. About 22 uniformed TSPC cadres had taken shelter in Choti Kauriya village on 08 August 2014 night. Soon 150 to 200 Maoists surrounded the village, and fired at the TSPC members. There were no signs of the TSPC cadres putting up any resistance. Maoist local guerilla squads of two sub-zonal commanders, Niteshji alias Suraj Yadav and Manohar of the North Koel Sankh Zone, had led the attack. The Maoists had taken five TSPC men hostage. The incident brought out the first fissures in the relationship between the Security Forces and the TSPC.

A group of BSF jawans and Orissa police personnel escaped a blast of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), on 14 August 2014, planted by Maoists in Malkangiri district of Orissa. The security personnel were conducting anti-Maoist operations, on the eve of Independence Day. A large boulder that fell from a nearby hill, due to heavy rains, may have triggered off this IED, which could have been a pressure activated one.

‘Split within split’ is the general syndrome of Indian Communist movement since the 1960s. And naxalities suffered most for this tragedy. If Maoists in the jungles of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh are facing political and military opposition from their breakaway factions it indicates the weakness of their political orientation and ideology. What cannot be achieved through military operations can always be achieved by engineering division in the ranks and the authorities are utilising the situation to their advantage.

Vol. 47, No.9, Sep 7 - 13, 2014