Kanu Sanyal ends life

Kanu Sanyal ends life

The 78-year-old leader, a bachelor, was found hanging in his room at his residence at Seftullajote, about 25 km from Siliguri.
Inspector General of Police K L Tamta said the self-made Naxalite took his meal before noon and then apparently hanged himself with a nylon rope. “His feet were almost touching the ground,” said Tamta.

Sanyal, a recluse for several years now, had been suffering from age-related ailments. At the time of his death, he was general secretary of a new CPI(Marxist-Leninist) combine, an offshoot of a merger of several splinter groups of the original party. 

Sanyal alongwith co-chairman Charu Mazumdar and Jungal Santhal formed a dreaded group that gave birth to the Naxalbari movement, which later spread its tentacles to other parts of India, including Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

The trio had first begun spearheading the movement with a peasant uprising at Naxalbari, a small, decrepit village in North Bengal, on May 25,1967, which gradually snowballed into a torrent and caught the minds of youth and intelligentsia alike.

Series of killings

The then officer-in-charge of Phansidewa police station, Amarendranath Pyne, was killed by an arrow shot by the Naxalites, as they came to be known, thus starting a series of killings of landowners, policemen and those associated with the establishment. Finally, Sanyal formally announced the formation of the Naxalbari movement at the Sahid Minar in Calcutta on April 22,1969.

In the early days of the Naxalite movement, Sanyal was portrayed as a “great revolutionary” and the movement was widely believed to have secured support from the Communist regime in China to further its goals.

But the veracity of the Chinese support had often been questioned though Sanyal had publicly acknowledged it.

 As one of the key leaders behind the Naxalite insurrection through violent means, Sanyal and other top functionaries most of the time lived underground.

In the wake of the failure of the Naxal uprising, Sanyal went into hiding and had claimed to have given up violent struggle after the death of Charu Mazumdar. He was arrested in August 1970 in the famous Parvathipuram conspiracy case and was jailed in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Sanyal, after his release from the jail in 1977 at the intervention of the then chief minister Jyoti Basu, had openly disapproved the strategy behind the armed struggle. 

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