Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In Jharkhand, Naxals locked in a battle for supremacy

In Jharkhand, Naxals locked in a battle for supremacy

RANCHI, OCTOBER 24: The encounter between the cadres of the Revolutionary Communist Centre (Third Conference) and the CPI (Maoist) in Latehar district on Sunday night has brought to light a singular fact that both the outfits are locked in a war of supremacy in Jharkhand.

Already, the cadres of the Third Conference, a breakaway faction of the CPI(Maoist), are understood to have made their presence felt in Latehar, Palamau and Chatra district. Chatra SP Subodh Prasad admits, “They are still spreading their tentacles despite our efforts to contain them.”

After years of bitter animosity, the Marxist Communist Centre and the People’s War Group had merged to form the CPI(Maoist) in 2003. The formation of the Third Conference was attributed to two main factors.

One, desire of the cadres at ground zero to make use of the sum of the levy collected by them rather than share it with the top brass of the body living elsewhere. Two, the caste conflict among the cadres.

“Most of those who had parted ways with the Yadav dominated CPI(Maoist) were Dalits,” said a senior police officer preferring anonymity. DGP JB Mahapatra said, “We do not want to share with the media any information gathered by the intelligence.”

The Indian Express, however, has learnt that at least 20 Naxalites belonging to the CPI (Maoist) and RCC (Third Conference) were killed in half a dozen encounters between the two outfits since August 1 this year. As a result, there was no major incident of attack on the police during this period. “But to establish and carve out its own area of influence, the rival groups have planted a number of land mines for inflicting damage on each other,” said Prasad.

Recovery of landmines in Chatra district last month substantiates his contention.

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