CPM to counter Maoists with 'people's war'

Campaign to isolate Naxals politically and ideologically

The CPM said that the fight against Maoists could not be left to police and other security forces alone and it would mobilise people to take on the extremists – particularly in its stronghold West Bengal.

Reaffirming that the Maoists do not belong to the left fraternity, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday said that the party had decided to launch a ‘vigorous’ campaign against the disruptive activities and politics of the Maoists and to mobilise people against the extremist forces.

With Maoist violence rattling the CPM-led Left Front Government in West Bengal, Karat said that the party would fight back the extremists. “We cannot rely on the police and other security forces alone. They alone cannot fight the Maoists,” he said, adding that the party had already started mobilising people to deal with extremists in West Bengal.

Karat said that the CPM’s campaign against the Maoists would be aimed at ‘isolating’ them “politically and ideologically”.  The surge in Maoist violence in Bengal was one of the issues that dominated the three-day CPM central committee meet, which concluded here on Sunday. The party, which has been in power in Bengal over the last three decades, alleged that the Maoists had killed over 60 of its members and supporters in the eastern State over the past few months. They also killed a CPM activist in Chhattisgarh recently. “The people being targeted by the Maoists are not class-enemies,” he said, re-emphasising that the outlawed CPM should not be bracketed together with the leftist parties as it was not in fact pursuing a class struggle.

The CPI-Maoist came into existence in 2004 following the merger of People’s War Group, CPI (M-L) – People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre.

Karat sought to make a distinction between the factors responsible for the rise of Maoists in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and in West Bengal. Indicating that lack of development in impoverished tribal areas of the states as the reason, he said that the Centre and the governments of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh should work out a package to address the grievances of the people in those areas of the states. “I don’t think armed forces should be used to fight the Maoists and the Centre is also not doing so,” he added.

The CPM, however, declined to take a stand on the controversial swap-deal that the leftist government of West Bengal had struck with the Maoists to ensure the release of abducted police officer Atindranath Dutta.

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