Ranchi, Jan 11: Ammunition and grenades with Pakistani markings have been recovered from the Karmatiya forest in Latehar where Maoists ambushed a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion and killed ten jawans on Jan 7.
Two grenades, fragments of exploded grenades and the live rounds left behind by the attackers in the jungle were all manufactured in Pakistan. However, this is not the first time that Maoists in the region have been found using Pakistan-made ammunition.
In Oct 2012, the Jharkhand Police nabbed an area commander of the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI) from the states' border with Odisha and saw that he was carrying bullets with 'POF' seal. Prabhat Kumar, Superintendent of Police in Simdega district, later told newspersons that 'POF' stands for Pakistan Ordinance Factory.
Also in Oct 2012, the West Bengal Director General of Police revealed that Maoists had held secret meetings with activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which is closely linked to Pakistan's Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Naparajit Mukherjee said that ISI agents are providing help to the Naxalites in West Bengal.
Earlier, Strafor had published a report on the links between the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Indian Maoists. The weekly quoted Naparajit Mukherjee's Chhattisgarh counterpart Vishwa Ranjan as saying that two LeT terrorists met with Naxalites in Apr 2010.
Strafor pointed out that Maoists had established contact with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), the People's Liberation Army of Manipur (PLAM), the National Social Council of Nagaland-Issac Muviah branch (NSCN-IM) and the People's War Group (PWG). Each of these outfits regularly receives arms and financial help from the ISI.
Ben West wrote in the intelligence weekly that "The lack of evidence of an institutional relationship between Naxalites and Pakistan does not mean that personal relationships between ISI assets and Naxalite cadres could not develop through the limited interaction now taking place."
Strafor noted that "A combination of more aggressive people from both sides could certainly lead to a more concerted attacks in India, reminiscent of the 2008 serial bombings in cities throughout India."
The warning signs are loud and clear. It is high time Indian security officials took note of Pakistan's covert support to Maoists who have almost succeeded in creating a "Red Corridor" in the eastern part of the country.