From Gorakhpur in the east UP to Lucknow in the west and from Bareilly in the north to Sonbhadra in the south the Maoists are spreading their tentacles fast In Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier the activities of the Maoists in the state was limited to the tribal dominated areas of Mirzapur, Sonbhadra and Chandauli districts. These days over one dozen districts are under their influence.
A senior state government officer said according to intelligence department report the cadre of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) are active in the districts including Ghazipur, Ballia, Deoria, Kushinagar Maharajganj Siddharthnagar, Balrampur, Shravasti, Bahraich, Lakhimpur Kheri, Pilibhit, Mau, Banda, Kaushambi, Chitrakoot, Varanasi and Jaunpur.
The CPI (Maoist) has divided UP into three parts each under the control of different committee. The area north of River Ganga is managed by Utarakhand, North Bihar and UP special area committee, while the central and west UP is under West- Central area committee. Mirzapur, Chandauli and Sonbhadra is under Bihar- Jharkhand area committee.
These districts are considered rice bowl of UP and some of it have been categorized as the prosperous area of the state. The tribal inhabitants are also not dominant in comparison to Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh or Chattisgarh where they form the backbone of the CPI (Maoist) cadre. How are the Maoist able to expand base in the granary of UP?
The Professor in the Department of Economics in Lucknow University, Prof Mohammad Muzammil terms it as a neighbourhood effect. The Maoists are already active in the districts of Bihar, Jharkhand, MP and Chattisgarh bordering UP. From the bordering districts of neighbouring states they are spreading into UP.
They are getting conducive atmosphere too Muzammil said and added the Maoist are able to get foothold in those areas which are inhabited by the people residing below poverty line, large number of youths are unemployed and above all large percentage of the rural folk is illiterate. “It’s easy for the ideologue to convince the illiterate people”, he said.
The areas in which there is tremendous inequality Maoists prosper said Rajesh Mishra, professor in the Department of Sociology in Lucknow University. The police and bureaucracy have failed to understand the genesis of the problem he said and added Maoism is an ideology and not a crime. It would appeal to the have-nots. The state government would have to deal with in bigger perspective rather than dispatching police force to suppress the movement.
The presence of the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) the military wing of the CPI (Maoist) in Sonbhadra and Chandauli districts have added to the nightmare of the state police.
Talking to HT the DGP Karamvir Singh said there is need for coordination between the police force of UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and MP to tackle the menace.
When asked if the top Maoist leaders are shifting base from Chattisgarh and Jharkhand to UP in search of safe hideout since the central government was planning to launch operation Green Hunt in two states considered to be stronghold of Maoist Singh said the shifting of the base could not be ruled out. The eleven Maoists nabbed by the police at Kanpur, Allahabad and Gorakhpur in the first week of this month are being interrogated and police would bust their network and destroy the hideouts”, he said.
The ADG (Law and Order) Brij Lal said six companies CRPF and 13 companies PAC had been already deployed in naxal infested districts including Sonbhadra and Chandauli. Since both the districts form part of the Bihar Jharkhand area committee (BJSAC) of the Maoist we have increased the vigil.
“The police had been able to kill some top Maoist including Kamlesh Chaudhary, Shatrughan, Rambriksha Kol, Anil Thakur and Gopi Gopal. Two leaders Jawala and Amarnath were nabbed. The construction of the special police stations in Sonbhadra district had already started. The police department has also launched community policing in the district”, Brij Lal said.