Friday, May 23, 2008

Poll boycott call: Maoists ‘not serious’

HYDERABAD: The State committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) has as usual given a call for boycott of the coming byelections but police feel that it is in no position to enforce it.

On the other hand, senior police officers expect the Maoists, who are presently lying low, to support the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in line with their stand in favour of separate Telangana. They told The Hindu that many surrendered Maoists were actively working for the victory of TRS in the elections. The CPI (Maoist) official spokesman Janardhan’s press release here on Wednesday, calling for poll boycott, also made an elaborate reference to the need for a collective struggle to secure statehood for the region. He appealed to people to see the point that the goal could not be achieved through ballot.

No intimidation

Beyond this statement, the Maoists have not resorted to activities like intimidation of candidates or their followers as in the past.

They have also not put up wall posters or wall writings in villages.

The police officers have taken a serious note of Janardhan’s statement but feel that the Maoists will not resort to violence to enforce the boycott call as it could damage the chances of TRS with which they were identified. On the contrary, violence by Maoists could aid the Congress and TDP which have dealt with extremism with an iron hand.

They said the casual attitude of the Maoists in issuing the statement a few days from the day of polling made their intention clear. If they had really meant business, they would have given the call much in advance and attracted attention by posters or wall writings.

The strength of Maoists in the State has depleted substantially as to be of real concern to the security forces. Of late, their activities were confined to inter-State borders in Khammam and Visakhapatnam districts. The only notable violence was the killing of 11 tribals of Kunta and Pamedu areas of Chhattisgarh and Charla of Khammam in retaliation for the gunning down of 17 Maoists by AP Police in Pamedu in March

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