Bhatkal arrest will shed light on links with Maoists too

Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest has raised hopes in the security establishment of unravelling the extent of the terror group’s links with Maoist guerrillas fighting a bloody war with security forces in four states.

Intelligence agencies had come across inputs about six months ago indicating that Maoist and Indian Mujahideen leaders had met in Nepal to work out an arrangement for supply of arms and ammunition.

Looting weapons from security forces has traditionally been the primary source of weapons for Maoists guerrillas. But this source has been drying up over the last few years after security forces woke up to the trend and took the right precautions. From a peak of 1,219 weapons in 2008, Maoists succeeded in looting just 67 weapons from security forces in 2011 and 55 last year.

The Maoists have tried to make up by reaching out to other terror groups, particularly those in the Northeast that have had a steady access to arms from south-east Asia and China.

“There were intelligence inputs that the Maoists were also exploring this possibility with the IM,” a government source said. Speculation about the IM-Maoist link had resurfaced a few months back with the arrest of another IM operative Amir Raza Khan who conceded attempts were being made to recruit members from the hot-bed of Maoist violence, Jharkhand.


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