THE RECENT unearthing of arms factories in Bhopal and Rourkela last week seems to be a pointer to the Naxalite shift from safe rural hinterland to urban areas.
The two incidents have raised the spectre of urban guerrilla warfare, some police officials feel. Even ADG (Intelligence) SK Raut tacitly acknowledged this on Tuesday. “Naxalites might be planning an urban guerilla warfare.
The uncovering of arms factories in Bhopal, Rourkela and Jamshedpur indicates a shift to cities,” Raut told newspersons here on Tuesday.
On a query whether Naxalites were setting up base in towns, he said, “I personally feel that they are planning an urban warfare because they are losing ground in rural areas owing to tremendous police pressure.”
About Naxalites’ plan to create a Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ) from Nepal to South India (Red Corridor from Pashupatinath to Tirupati), Raut admitted that Naxalites were spreading their tentacles in other districts of Madhya Pradesh like Shahdol, Umaria and Sidhi apart from Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori.
Naxalite insurrection has various stages—beginning from organisation and propaganda to low-scale guerilla warfare and urban warfare, which finally lead to the fourth and final stage of mobile warfare to grab power.
The arrested Naxalites who are suspected to be members of the technical committee were living in Bhopal for around four years.
Bhopal was preferred because apart from the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) nearly 200 ancillary industrial units are functioning here and the rebels must have thought that a clandestine arms factory would not evoke suspicion, said SK Raut. IG Kailash Makwana was also present at the press conference.
Meanwhile, the police of six states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are interrogating the five persons including a woman who were arrested during the raid. The accused keep changing their statements, the police said.
One of them, Deepak, has been associated at various times with Tiger Project Dalam, Year Kondam Dalam and Gundla Korma Dalam. He has killed more than four persons.
The suspected Naxalites were manufacturing weapons and researching how to replicate sophisticated weapons here. The arms components used to be mostly sent to Chhattisgarh where the parts used to be assembled in forests for use by ultra-leftists against police and other ‘enemies’.
The laptop recovered from the accused has information and drawings of sophisticated weapons. The main accused, Madhu and Shriniwas have been away from their families for decades and were absolutely committed to their cause.
The police in Gwalior, Jabalpur and Indore have also been alerted in view of the possibility of Naxalites retaliating or trying to abduct someone in order to bargain for the arrested persons’ release.
Regarding failure of the police to identify the Naxalites during house-to-house verification of tenants in the wake of the arrest of Bangladeshi dacoits recently, DIG Anuradha Shankar Singh said the Naxalites lived like proper middle-class family and had documents that made it difficult for police to suspect their credentials.