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Maoists look for urban, educated cadres for war zones

We failed to develop second-rung leadership, admitted eastern India chief of CPI(Maoist) Prashanta Bose in the party mouthpiece.

kolkata Updated: Aug 29, 2018 16:53 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
CPI(Maoist),Maoist,Orashanta Bose
In February 2017 CPI(Maoist) decided to relieve ageing leaders and handover the baton to the next generation but could not implement the decision.(AP File Photo)

Having failed to groom second-rung leaders, CPI(Maoist) desperately now needs urban, educated cadres to join the movement in the forested areas, the banned party’s eastern India chief Prashanta Bose, alias Kishanda, recently said in the party’s mouthpiece.

This admission comes more than a year after CPI(Maoist) top leadership decided to relieve aged and ailing leaders from all levels of committees.

Read: To overhaul organisation, CPI-Maoist to relieve aged, unfit leaders

“We have got too little success in developing second-rung leadership in the eastern region and this is one of our foremost tasks now,” Bose, 71, the senior-most Maoist leader in the country, said in an interview given to Lal Chingari Prakashan that is the mouthpiece of the party.

Bose went on to explain that except for West Bengal, their base in Jharkhand, Bihar and Assam is “among the poorest of the poor… who have been deprived of basic education for ages.”

“It is difficult to develop among them the prudence necessary for a proper understanding of Marxism. We need plenty of student, youth and intellectuals to educate these innumerable tribal and poor people. We have too few such people in the areas of struggle at present, which has become a major obstacle towards developing second-rung leadership.”

Read: Self-rule by Adivasis could end Maoism

R K Mallick, Jharkhand additional director general of police (operations), said that the security agencies are aware of the Maoist plan.

“Their lookout for second-rung leaders is exactly what we are concerned about. We are keeping a tab on jailed Maoists who have recently been released and also those who are likely to be released sometime soon. Maoists will prefer these leaders over new recruits,” Mallick said.

There is corroboration at the grassroots. “Lower committees have more young leaders but the higher the level of the committee, the higher goes the average age of its members,” said a Maoist operative based in East Singhbhum district. He met this correspondent barely few kilometers away from Dalapani village, within Galudih police station limits, where a CRPF jawan died during a gun battle with the Maoists in July.

Read: Dispute in ranks, troubled times for Maoists: Arrested rebel ‘Tech Ramanna’ to cops

Dalapani and its neighbouring villages are situated on forested hillocks along the Dalma range and close to the districts of Purulia and Jhargram in West Bengal.

Bose’s 44-page interview in Hindi was published from Jharkhand and is in circulation mostly in Jharkhand and Bihar.

A politburo and central military commission member of the CPI(Maoist), Bose serves as the secretary of Eastern Regional Bureau that looks after the party’s activities in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

Read: No tea, oily food, movies or music: Maoists issues diktat to discipline cadres

“We have contacted all important committees, asking them to arrange for sending revolutionary students, youth and intellectuals (from cities) in the war zone at the earliest. We hope some of them will arrive shortly,” said Bose.

The admission comes in the backdrop of serious leadership crisis in CPI(Maoist)’s eastern India chapter, where the banned outfit lost nine central committee members since 2008.

Of the remaining central committee members active in eastern India, Bose is aged 71, Misir Besra is 59, Shila Marandi is in her early 60s, Ranjit Bose is 60, Oggu Satwaji alias Sudhakar is in his late 50s, Vivek Chandra Yadav in his mid-50s and West Bengal state secretary Akash is in his early 50s.

Read: 15 Maoists killed in encounter in Chhattisgarh forest

The crisis deepened as several of their special area committee/ state committee level leaders were arrested/ killed or have surrendered over the past few years. Among important mid-ranking leaders, Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee (BJSAC) members Umesh Yadav alias Radheshyam, Gautam Paswan alias Arun, Anal-da alias Tufan and Anmol-da alias Samar are in their fifties, while Pradyumna Sharma and Sandeep Yadav are in their 40s, according to Maoist operatives.

In February 2017, CPI(Maoist) central committee decided to relieve ageing leaders and handover the baton to the next generation. It urged leaders with ‘mental and physical limitations’ to voluntarily step down.

The rebels could not implement this plan though. “The curriculum for their (next generation leaders) ideological-political training and the syllabus for field training are ready. But it has been extremely difficult to implement these programmes as we are busy fighting a deadly war,” Bose said.

Residents of villages Dalapani, Harmari and Sirka said that movement of Maoist armed squads have increased along Bengal-Jharkhand border over the past few months. This was an echo of what Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said earlier this month.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 16:53 IST