Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Anti-red drive to get bolder

New Delhi, May 13: The Centre has decided to adopt a more aggressive and proactive approach in dealing with Left wing extremism, even if it means going around the law a little bit.

This approach was more than visible in the arrest of Pramod Mishra, a top-rung Maoist leader, from Dhanbad two days ago. In response to the buzz — that Mishra’s arrest was not a “clean” arrest but the result of a trap laid by the Jharkhand police who picked up his son to draw the Naxalite leader out — sources said, there was nothing wrong in using such tactics.

“The message to states affected by Naxalite violence is clear — it is an all out war against left-wing extremism and the best way to curtail it is to get the top leaders. The focus has shifted to the main Maoist leaders as they are the brains behind all naxal operations,” disclosed a senior intelligence official.

Mishra was one of the 14 main politburo members of Maoists, and in charge of spreading the movement to northern India which included Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Intelligence officials had information that Mishra was focusing on making inroads into the Capital for maximum impact. His name also figured in the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, 2006, as one of the important leaders of CPI-Maoist.

While Ganpathi, the PWG leader from Andhra Pradesh, was the general secretary of CPI-Maoist, Mishra was one of the 14 politburo members below him in the hierarchy. Other permanent politburo members included Mallojula K. Rao, Cherukuri Raja Kumkar, Prashanth Bose, Nambala Keshavarao, Sumanand Singh, Katakam Sudershan, Akhilesh Yadav and Balraj. Another politburo member Nathuni Mistry was arrested by Jharkhand police in 2002.

Another politburo member Misir Besra alias Sunirmal was also arrested by Jharkhand police earlier in March, and according to sources, he had provided useful information about the other top leaders and their functioning. “It was Besra who had provided the police with the whereabouts of Mishra’s son, also a CPI-Maoist member,” defended a senior home ministry official.

Mishra, originally from Aurangabad, had succeeded in making some inroads into Delhi which included setting up of a state committee of the party.

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