The Maoists are carrying their fight against the Indian state into urban India.
<b1>They plan to create industrial unrest, build an urban cadre base to reinforce armed operations in rural areas, and build a network of sympathisers for public, legal and logistics support.
The targets: Gurgaon, the Mumbai-Pune and Ahmedabad-Surat industrial belts and the Kolkata-Bhilai-Ranchi-Dhanbad region.
A 129-page Maoist document titled ‘Strategy and Tactics of the Indian War’, seized recently by security forces, states:
“Our presence today in key industries is extremely low. It is a pressing need that we enter key industries such as transport, communications, railways, ports, power, oil and gas and defence equipment. This is crucial for the success of our revolution.” The central committee of the CPI (Maoist) cleared the document in 2004.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has, on several occasions, identified the Maoist insurgency as the gravest internal security challenge facing the country.
“Maoists are trying to infiltrate trade unions of political parties,” a top intelligence officer, who gave Hindustan Times access to the document, said.
This information and the details of the target areas were gleaned from captured Maoist leaders Kobad Ghandy, Amitabha Bagchi and Balraj, he added.
Maoist efforts at setting up an urban network gained media attention following the arrest of Venkateswara Rao alias Telugu Deepak on March 2 from the southern fringes of Kolkata.
“Deepak had been living in the city for quite some time. He was deputed to build a network in Kolkata,” said Raj Kanojia, additional director general, Criminal Investigation Department, West Bengal Police.
The Maoist cell in charge of this operation has been told categorically to avoid violence. Reason: bloodshed can drive away intellectuals and civil society activists who may rally around human rights causes without necessarily being sympathetic to the Maoists.
“At present, we should not go for armed offensives against the state machinery in urban areas. Our basic aim is to build a defensive network,” the document says. Urban attacks, when ordered by the leadership, will be carried out by separate “action squads”.
“They are more keen on building secret networks to aid rural operations,” the intelligence officer said.