Calling over-ground Maoist ideologues, who keep the movement alive, more dangerous than their armed guerrilla army, the home ministry has told the Supreme Court that these people had undertaken a concerted and systematic propaganda to malign the state through disinformation.
More than 8,100 civilians have been killed in Maoist-affected states. Many people have been dubbed police informers and killed by Maoists.
The home ministry’s counter-affidavit in a petition questioning the action taken by the Centre described Maoists activity a serious impediment to the nation-building process by attacking development facilities and abducting proactive, sincere district collectors.
The Supreme Court had in September asked the Centre and Maoists-affected states to respond to a petition seeking direction to formulate a central policy for handling the menace.
While the armed guerrillas stand in the way of development in the rural and tribal belts, ideologues and supporters of the Maoists carry out a “concerted and systematic propaganda against the state to project the State in a poor light and also malign it through disinformation.
"In fact, it is these ideologues who, have kept the Maoist movement alive and are in many ways more dangerous than the cadres of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army," the home ministry said in its affidavit to the Supreme Court.
The government said the police had proceeded against the ideologues in the past which often resulted in negative publicity due to the effectiveness of the propaganda machinery of the CPI (Maoist).
"However, regardless of this, the Union of India is committed to combating this problem with all resources at its disposal and the efforts are gradually bearing fruit on the ground," the affidavit has said.
The ministry conceded the Naxals had managed to entrench themselves in certain parts due to the security and development vacuum.