Urban centres may be Maoists’ next target: Intel | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Urban centres may be Maoists’ next target: Intel

mumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2010 01:50 IST
Shailendra Mohan
Shailendra Mohan
Hindustan Times
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Police intelligence in the state has cautioned that naxal activities may not be restricted to the far-flung eastern corridor of the state in future. The Maoists have been augmenting their resources and making serious efforts to penetrate and target urban centres across the state.

Highly-placed sources in the state (police) intelligence told HT that there has been phenomenal increase in the cadre strength of the Maoists over the last three decades. This would give them an edge in launching ambushes on security forces even without forest cover. The membership drive carried out by the naxals was not always be voluntary, but in most cases recruits had been coerced into joining the ranks through threats and blackmail.

The security agencies are also alarmed over the fact that the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), the combatant wing of the Maoists, has exhorted even those from middleclass backgrounds to join their struggle, in its latest pamphlet. (HT report on December 6).

“A major policy decision was taken in 2007 by the Maoist leadership. According to that, naxals know that jungle warfare and ambushes have not given them the required mileage. So, they have now decided to come out of the jungles,” said KP Raghuvanshi, additional director general of police (law and order). “The naxals have always used urban centres for hiding or for extending medical aid to injured comrades,” Raghuvanshi added. Sources, however, maintained that naxals are now looking at urban centres as targets and are preparing to create grounds before launching assault. “They are infiltrating trade unions and trying to garner support from people affected by government projects,” said an officer on condition of anonymity, while adding that a road map had been prepared on this by the top leaders for motivation and indoctrination. “The idea is simple – force the government machinery to react and then use that reaction to instigate more people and get them to join the fold,” the officer said, while adding that naxal leaders had participated in several meetings held in various parts of Mumbai.

“ We have evidence that they have held meetings in Santacruz some time ago and even in adjoining Thane,” the officer said.