When it comes to the threat posed by the Taliban, India’s extreme Left wants to be seen on the right side.
The Maoists now seem to be saying that India’s enemy is not necessarily their friend, and want to get rid of the ‘terror’ tag attached to them. “If the Taliban attack India, we will stand with the people and rally against the attack,” CPI (Maoist) politburo member and their combat forces’ second-in-command Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji (51) told HT.
He was reacting to the Pakistan Taliban’s threat to attack India once their objective of turning their own country into a hardline Islamist state was achieved.
Kishenji, however, has claimed that the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) or CPI (Maoist) has strong ties with ultra-Left wing and alleged terrorist outfits, including Kashmiri separatists, from at least 36 countries. The beheading of Jharkhand special branch inspector Francis Induwar earlier this month has been seen as a Taliban-style execution.
Under pressure from various quarters for waging war against the state and killing innocent people — at least 445 people were killed in Naxal violence in the first six months of this year alone — underground Maoist leaders are now trying to dissociate themselves from being associated with terror.
Ganapathi, the Maoists self-styled supreme commander, had in a recent interview to Open magazine, objected to the terror tag attached to his outfit. Maoist politburo member Kobad Ghandy, arrested in Delhi last month, and central committee member Ravi Sharma, arrested by the Jharkhand police last week, had also labelled the comrades fighting a ‘people’s war’ patriots.
“How can they be patriots when they are there to destroy the Constitution?” said Pankaj Khamboj, a young Jharkhand cadre IPS officer, who arrested Naxal leaders Ravi Sharma and his wife Anuradha last week from Hazaribagh district.