With the arrests of some of their top-ranking leaders and a major offensive against them on the cards, Maoists seem to be losing steam.
The CPI(Maoist) politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body, has shrunk by nearly 40 per cent. In the past eight months, two of its 13 members have been arrested.
While two members of its first politburo, Sushil Roy and Narayan Sanyal, were arrested in the first two-and-a-half years of the organisation’s existence, five members of the current politburo, formed in 2007, are out of action.
According to intelligence sources, the arrests took place when the leaders were shifting locations while trying to expand their mass base.
“For faster expansion, they are making frequent movements from one area to another, giving the security agencies more chances to track their locations,” a senior home ministry official told HT.
“The Maoists are now in a serious crisis,” the official said.
The Bihar government has received about Rs 103 crore for modernising the state police this fiscal to combat the Maoists.
“The main thrust will be on the purchase of weaponry, creating efficient platforms for mobility and adding force multipliers,” said state police chief Neelamani, who goes by one name.
The Maoists received their first major blow when Misir Besra, politburo member, was arrested in Jharkhand’s Giridih district in September 2007. However, on June 23 last year, the red brigade whisked him away from the police in Bihar.
Kobad Ghandy was arrested late last year. Malla Raji Reddy was held in December 2007 (he got bail and is now underground), and Pramod Misra in May 2008. Ashutosh Tudu was arrested in March and Amitabha Bagchi in August 2009.