Saturday, April 14, 2007

Now, Naxals take arms delivery from government factory

Now, Naxals take arms delivery from government factory
Rajesh Sinha
Thursday, April 12, 2007 01:53 IST

NEW DELHI: A large cache of government-issue explosives seized recently from Maoists by the Jharkhand police has unnerved the security establishment.

The explosives were reportedly obtained by the rebels from the defence ministry’s ordnance factory in Wardha, Maharashtra.

The revelation has exacerbated security agencies’ anxiety, which was initially brought by the discovery that the Maoists had ready access to the government’s secret anti-Naxal deliberations.

DNA had reported on March 31 that government forces had recovered classified documents from a guerrilla unit after an encounter in Chhattisgarh.

The documents contained minutes of two meetings held last year in which anti-Maoist operations were discussed. One of the meetings was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The recent seizure of explosives affords more insights into rebel operations. First, the Maoists’ supply of arms and explosives is not limited to those looted from police and security forces or procured from mines, or from crusher operators. Security agencies are worried that Maoists seem to have fixed conduits in sensitive government organisations and the defence establishment.

Second, the haul reveals a link with Maharashtra, and a network so efficient that it facilitated untraced procurement and delivery to Jharkhand.

The haul included gelatin sticks, fuse wire, and electronic detonators — in sufficient volumes to produce hundreds of landmines.

The menace from the growing capability of Maoists is exemplified by a string of almost daily attacks in Jharkhand, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. The most recent incursion was recorded last week. The large number of Maoist cadres involved in these incidents has worried security agencies. The numbers indicate the expansion of Naxal influence and support base as well as the failure of intelligence agencies to obtain information.

After slaying Sunil Mahto, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP, and launching other attacks, the Maoists gained enough confidence to issue a threat to Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto. They warned him against making anti-Maoist speeches "cooked up on the dictates of corporate houses, native and foreign, and the landed gentry to cover the failures of your government".

The rebels' communication says: "How can you justify the wealth amassed by Sunil Mahto? Sunil was born poor family and became a millionaire." Concerned by the intensifying activity, the Union home ministry has called for three meetings in April to take stock of the situation.


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