The Naxalites appear to have raised their ugly head and this time the concern is Kerala. The problem came to light when an incident in which exchange of fire was reported by the police and Naxals at the Vellamunda police limits at Waynad two days back.
The Naxals at Kerala have been lying low for some time and now there appears to be a sustained effort on on their part to announce their return. While Kerala has been successful in the past in combating this menace, it appears that the Naxals have returned and are operating out of the forests in Northern Kerala.
Writing on the wall
After the Naxals were beaten down in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, there were warnings issued that there is a possibility of them moving into Kerala. A large part of the command of the Naxals has in fact moved into Kerala with an intention of strengthening the movement.
Kerala is already facing a problem of Islamic terror and now that the Naxals have decided to raise their ugly head yet again it appears that the Kerala police will have more issues on hand to deal with.
Huge supply of arms
As per several reports of the both the police and the Intelligence Bureau available with Oneindia, it is clear that the Naxals have access to very sophisticated arms and ammunition. There is no dearth of arms and they have a free supply of the same thanks to unmanned ports in Tamil Nadu from where the material is pushed in.
The Q branch in Tamil Nadu had in its report pointed towards smuggling activity along the shores and had even pin pointed to one particular fishing port in Koddikarrai from where most of the arms were being pushed in. Arms come in major chunks and are then moved into the forests of Kerala where it is picked up by Islamic terrorists and also Naxals, the police had stated.
The Chinese connection
It has been noted in Intelligence files that some Chinese smugglers who have set up their base in Sri Lanka are behind the supply of arms. These smugglers are connected to two political families in both countries who have ensured that no action is taken.
The Koddikarrai fishing port is one of the safest dens for smugglers to push their arms. This port has witnessed smuggling since the pre-independence era where smugglers from Sri Lanka would land at this port with opium and take back beedis in exchange.
Today it has gone beyond beedis and opium and huge chunks of arms are being smuggled in. Once it lands at this port it is then smuggled into Kerala and dumped in the forests of Waynad.
Earlier one would witness naxals using guns stolen from police stations to carry out attacks. Today the arms have become extremely sophisticated and they are capable of launching a sustained attack on the police force.
Officials says that the smugglers from Sri Lanka are running a full fledged racket. The arms are not just used by the Naxals but they also earn major chunks of money by sending them to different parts of the country.
While several decades back the Kerala government had took pride in itself for putting an end to the Naxal movement, today there appears to be a slip up which many would say is deliberate.
Naxals like the Islamic terrorists in Kerala have become political tools. In a recent incident some naxals had put up a sticker which read CPI(M). Although the veracity of this is being ascertained Intelligence Buerau officials say that like in the case of Islamic terror, even the naxals are being used for political gains.
Investigations have founded that political murders especially targeting the RSS have been supported by grass root level political workers at the behest of their masters on top.
Political patronage has not just led to the rise of the Naxal movement, but has also ensured that Kerala became a hub of hooliganism, black money, drug trafficking. However the worst precedent that was set in all this was extreme levels of radicalism
The Kerala government has now ordered massive combing operations in the forests areas of Northern Kerala. Kerala has a special force known as the Thunderbolt which carries out such operations with the assistance of the local police.
The manner in which the Naxals are carrying out attacks would suggest that the intention is to send a message rather than carry out a major attack resulting in the loss of lives. This is just a start for them and if not curbed it could get worse an officer informed.
Their presence is largely found in Mallapuram, Kannur, Attappadi and Kozhikode. Ironically this is the same belt from where Islamic terror too has been reported. The Naxals form gangs of five and tap villagers. During these meetings the five members would brain wash villagers into joining them.
They would in turn tell the villagers to provide them with intelligence in case of a police build up. They would also use threatening tactics to put forth their point. It is the intelligence that they get from the ground level is what is helping them dodge the police.
There is a list of 40 persons that has been put out by the police. These 40 persons who are all locals of Kerala are operating in various areas. They ensure that they operate as a group of five only.
Among the top leadership are N Subramanium, P Pauran and Boby Thomas.
Home Minister's assurance
Ramesh Chennithala the home minister of Kerala assured the people that the police were on the job. He said that the force is well equipped to combat the problem. They are currently focusing in the forest regions and these areas connect to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu very easily. He also urged the police of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to assist them in ending the problem and pointed out that cooperation was the need of the hour.