Instead of putting political and economic demands — something that was done in earlier cases for “propaganda purposes” — the Maoists decided to clearly list the prisoners they wanted to be released.
“We must not give lot of time to the government... When we understand the government is taking an adamant stand, we must annihilate the people’s enemy in our custody and withdraw from this arena of struggle,” the central committee resolution said in its analysis.
The Maoist insurgency — that has a presence in nearly a dozen states — has killed 278 people this year; 190 of them civilians. The home ministry has, however, identified 25 districts where the guerillas have dug in their heels and account for 75% of all Maoist related violence.
The committee, the second-highest decision making body after the CPI (Maoists) Politburo, noted that the movement hadn’t really benefited from the large number of abductions from 2011.
It recalled how the Maoists ended up releasing all the hostages: Italian tourists, Malkangiri collector Vineel Krishna, Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon and Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka. “We could not reap the benefits we expected from these incidents,” the Maoists said, acknowledging “facing more losses than political gains”. Laying down the ground rules for the future, the Maoists explicitly barred abduction of “persons who are not class enemies”. But for the rest, the Maoists hardened their position lest it loses face.
The document listed how the party had lost face in the past by not carrying out its threats.