Their sworn enemy is the bourgeois society and their mission is to uproot all that this system represents. But on this long journey, many of them have fallen victim to the very ills that they are fighting against.
Pamphlets distributed along the border areas of such Naxal-infested states as West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa have named senior Maoist leaders who have amassed personal wealth and have even sent their sons and daughters abroad for studies.
The police say the leaflets are the handiwork of splinter Maoist groups which have rebelled against their parent organisation. The cops are now following up on the leads and have traced property belonging to prominent Naxal leaders.
“Crores of rupees are being raised through levies, but the foot soldiers at the grassroots level are deprived of the benefits. Where does the money go? A section of leaders is buying property and also managing businesses,” said Gangeshwar Singh, I-G, Western Range.
He is in charge of the three Maoist-affected districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.
The leaflets say that most of these corrupt Maoist leaders belong to border committees, but some are also from the central unit. “But they are doing business under assumed names and are therefore difficult to trace,” Singh added.
“This isn’t a new phenomenon. We’ve come across similar practices by a section of Maoist leaders and are investigating the matter,” Gauri Shankar Rath, director-general of police, Jharkhand, said.
Take the instance of Vijay Kumar Arya, who was arrested by the police last year. His son studies in a foreign university and has a palatial house in Patna.
Another senior Maoist leader of the Bengal-Jharkh-and-Orissa border committee, Madan Pal, who was expelled by Maoists for contesting polls, has sent his daughter to Singapore for higher studies.
Then there is the case of Jagdish Yadav, politburo member and think-tank of the Maoists. He runs a flourishing cloth business from Gaya and owns a house in Bokaro.
Sources in police the police told HT that the Maoists collect crores of rupees in taxes from construction firms and businesses every month. At least 17 Naxal leaders with a large amount of personal property have been identified in Bengal and Jharkhand alone.