Are Maoists looking to build a base in Kerala?
news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
News Minute | October 19, 2014 | 9.10 am IST Activities of the banned CPI (Maoist) at the tri-junction of the Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu borders were reported as early as 2011. Posters of CPI (Maoist) had been appearing occasionally in different parts of Kerala for the last two years. The recent posters which appeared in Mukkali and Kallamala region of Attapady, Palakkad district were related to 10th anniversary of the organization. In 2013, Kerala government constituted a special a wing, Thunderbolt commando force to tackle the Maoist group in Western Ghats. Though the thunder bolt are still active in Attapapdy , the Maoists are still thriving in the region. Various Intelligence Bureau reports say that the clamp down on the movement in the central and eastern states is forcing Maoists to look out for new bases in the south, mainly in Kerala and Karnataka. The IB report also says that the Maoists are building units in the forest areas of Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode and Palakkad districts.Â "We have taken several measures to identify these people. The government is aware of the Maoist threat and a special team comprising three police companies has been constituted to rein in the growing trouble," said Ramesh Chennithala, Home Minister, Kerala. Many villagers from the northern districts of Kerala have claimed that they have seen armed guerillas. There were also reports in Malayalam media that these groups visited tribal areas in Wayanad district and asked to join them. In October 2013 a reserve forest warden in Nilambur in Malappuram district, was shot at, and police suspect the Maoists. Apart from this, no firing or open activity has been reported from the region.Â â€śA chance of a strong Maoist group rising deep inside the forests canâ€™t be neglected, villagers have seen some in uniforms, but suspicions may not be rightâ€ť said an environmental activist from Wayanad â€śThere are many Maoist supporters in different parts of Kerala, but we donâ€™t have clear evidence about the activists. The posters have been appearing here frequently in favor of Maoists. It is not necessary that there is a group here; posters can be pasted by people outside too. But we cannot neglect their presence here. Thunderbolt is strong in Attappady regionâ€ť says Bobin Mathew, Sub Inspector, Agali, Attappady, who is now in charge of enquiry on Maoists presence in the region.