That the Maoists are becoming a serious threat in the state is evident from the daring attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Gadchiroli on Tuesday which killed 12 jawans, but equally alarming is the concerted effort by the CPI (Maoist) cadre to generate funds and indoctrinate skilled youth from its urban areas.
This strategic and tactical plan, as laid down in the organisation’s constitution, has been brought to focus by the arrest of four of its cadre Dinesh Wankhede, 30, his wife Suman Gawde, 40, Paru Patel, 40, and Asimkumar Bhattacharya, 65 — from Dombivli on March 2.
Naxal leaders believe that the movement, which started in cities but is currently restricted to the jungles, must be taken back in order to achieve the aims of their revolution.
“Now our motivation is to reach the cities,” said Hariram, a self-styled area commander of People Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) who is a member of the Dandakaranaya special zonal committee. “Organisers have been sent to cities and mega cities to reach out to the working class and to explain to them the politically, socially and economically worsening condition of India," added Hariram.
The constitution of CPI (Maoist) states, “The urban movement is one of the main sources that provides cadre and leadership with various types of capabilities essential for the people’s war and for the establishment of liberated areas. Supplies of certain types of materials such as arms and ammunition, spare parts, medical supplies, etc. are only available in the urban areas.”
This push towards the cities has been confirmed as the anti-Naxal operations team and the state anti-terrorism squad have found that the Maoists have been operating in remote suburbs of Mumbai.
Wankhede, who comes from a middle-class family, had moved from Nagpur to Nallasopara with his parents and three brothers in 2000. But little did the family know that Wankhede would be drawn into the CPI (Maoist) cadre through innocuous-looking street plays organised in their new neighbourhood.
Wankhede was indoctrinated in 2004, and following training in guerilla warfare, he was inducted into the Korchi Dalam group in Gadchiroli, police sources say.
Sujata, the divisional commander of Korchi Dalam, then got Wankhede married to Suman Gawde, a local. The husband and wife duo went on to become the area committee members of the CPI (Maoist).
They had come to Dombivli with Patel, a fellow cadre, to help her get medical aid in the city, while Bhattacharya was providing them shelter, said police sources.
This is not first time that the Maoists have been arrested from big cities. Vernon Stanilaus Gonsalves alias Vikram and Shridhar Krishnan Shrinivasan alias Vishnu were arrested in August 2007 from Mumbai, while in May last year, 10 Maoists were arrested from Pune railway station.