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Profiles of members of the Karnataka State committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist)
C M Noor Zulfikar alias Sridhar heads the committee in Karnataka in place of Saket Rajan alias Prem, who fell to the bullets of police in Chikmagalur.
While Rajan led a six-member team, the present committee has seven members.
Zulfikar, the new secretary, is from Chitradurga and is in his mid-thirties. He is an engineering dropout. Police, however, are yet to gather personal details of Zulfikar.
The team includes a lady member,
Asha. Aged 25, this Sikh lady has studied in Shimoga for many years. She was reportedly linked to the Mahila Jagruthi Vedike, according to sources in the Home Department.
Incidentally, Asha’s husband Nanda Kumar alias Rangappa is also on the new committee. This 35-year-old is a native of Koppa in Chikmagalur district.
Another, member of the team is Vishnu alias Devendrappa. He hails from Soraba and had a miraculous escape in the Idu encounter between the Naxals and the police in Udupi district last year.
The other three members of the committee are Veeramani alias Murugan who regularly issues press statements under the nom de guerre Gangadhar, Kuppuswamy alias D Murthy and Ujani Gowda who is lodged in Bellary jail.Zulfikar, Murthy and Gowda were members of the Saket team too.
Cherkuri Rajkumar, a member of the central committee of the Maoist party, continues to be in-charge of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. He frequently visits Bangalore, official sources said.
Another feature of the new panel, according to an officer, is that it is ‘highly secular’ in nature, meaning all major communities have been ‘represented’. While Zulfikar is a Muslim, Murugan, a native of Madurai, belongs to a backward community. Asha is a Sikh and her husband Nanda Kumar is a Nair. Devendrappa is an Idiga, Murthy a Scheduled Caste and Ujjani Gowda a Vokkaliga, the sources said.
It is learnt that the police have procured photographs of all the seven members of the committee, who are all underground operators. Despite having sufficient information, the sources said, it was a tough task to nab them.
However, officials pointed out that the Naxals now do not have a ‘meticulous and intelligent’ planner they had had in Saket Rajan.
Source of income
The official sources also said that of the estimated nearly 500 Naxalites in the State, 160 could be termed as ‘underground operatives’. According to printed material and diaries seized from several Naxals over the last few years, taxation is the main source of income.
Forest contractors, PWD contractors, rich landlords and petty forest officials are taxed. There are four Naxal squads in the State and each squad generates not less than Rs one lakh a month. Besides, the central committee too financially supports the State team, the documents have revealed.
Each squad has 10 to 12 women and women constitute at least one-third of the underground cadre, the sources said.