Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Maoists unleash publicity war
Propaganda war: A video grab from the documentary released by the Maoists shows rebels training at an obstacle course in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
HYDERABAD: The Maoists seem to be adopting the latest technology in their bid to strengthen their armed struggle. They have now launched a publicity blitzkrieg to enlist youth into their fold by circulating a one-hour documentary on their “military successes” in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
VCDs containing the documentary are in circulation in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and other States. The documentary is primarily intended to encourage youth to join the ranks of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the military wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The documentary urges viewers to support the cause of the Maoists and join the PLGA in protecting the “rights of the adivasis” in Bastar “being ruthlessly exploited by successive governments.” Intelligence officials are worried about the propaganda war, for which there is neither an answer from the Government nor a counter-strategy from the security forces.
The documentary, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, not only shows the preparations of the PLGA fighters but also live footage of the raid on the Murkinagar police outpost in Bijapur district on April 16, 2006. During the raid, seven policemen and 10 Special Police Officers were killed, and 49 weapons, including a light machine gun and thousands of bullets, were seized by the Maoists. The footage shows the ease with which the PLGA fighters mounted the attack and overran the police camp amid gunfire and the crackle of wireless sets used by them to coordinate the movement of their assault teams. Explosion of hand grenades, rapid fire from an LMG, orders being shouted for advancing towards the camp and firing …, the documentary captures every detail, just like the war movies.The documentary also dwells on the endurance and fitness modules, and weapons and combat training of the PGLA men.
“The documentary would certainly appeal to the youth as it projects an extremely positive image of the Maoist rebels. It seeks to drive home the message that the Maoists are in no way inferior to the security forces,” a top officer said.