Revival of Naxals in South India

The Naxal movement is on the rebound in South India, Pramod aka Nandakumar, the Karnataka state secretary of the Communist Party of India-Maoist, has revealed to his interrogators.

However, he has also revealed that the Naxal movement was facing a manpower crisis, especially in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. To make up for the shortage, trained Naxals from the south are being sent to those states, he said.

The key Naxal leader was arrested in Hyderabad a week ago and was handed over to the Karnataka police, which had issued a lookout notice against him.

Pramod, who also goes by the alias Ranganna, is a resident of Kannur, Kerala. He had joined the People’s War Group in Karnataka 12 years ago and is married to a Punjabi woman.

His arrest can prove helpful to the police in obtaining information on Naxal activities in south India.

Sources from the Karnataka police said Pramod had been actively involved in reviving the Naxal movement in the south and had been frequently travelling between Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, before his arrest.

A source in the Karnataka police, which is interrogating the Naxal leader, told that the directive and shifting of men to Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand indicated that the Naxals were busy intensifying operations in various parts of the country. Also, Pramod has said, Naxal leaders have decided to create a powerful south corridor.

Naxal bases in Andhra Pradesh, which was earlier their stronghold, and Karnataka have collapsed after many men were captured or killed in encounters. Also, most of the high profile leaders moved away to the northern regions, Pramod told interrogators.

The Karnataka police said the Naxals were facing a leadership crisis in the south and were finding it difficult even to gather men due to strict police vigilance and dwindling local support.

The Karnataka police, which has successfully thwarted all Naxal operations in the state, said Pramod was giving out information very slowly.

“He is extremely stubborn and is good at dodging questions. However we need to keep him in custody for a longer time,” the police said.

He said that he is not aware of operations in Karnataka, but we have no reason to believe him, they added.

Pramod’s has said that the movement suffered a big blow with the death of their key leader Saketh Rajan, who was killed in a police encounter in 2005.

The Karnataka police said Pramod was not active in Karnataka, however he had signed several communications under the name Gangadhara.

Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

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