Bengaluru, May 5: An operation at Coimbatore on Monday netted five naxals. This combined operation by the police forces of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala managed to nab the five naxals including a couple from Coimbatore and officials say that this is a major catch.
The catch is important as it comes in the wake of naxals attempting to intensify operations in South India. The five persons to be arrested were Roopesh and his wife, Shina, Anup, Veeramani and Kannan.
Building the southern corridor
While the plan to launch the South Indian corridor was launched as early as 2010, the operations began to intensify in the past couple of months.
In the month of June 2010, Nandakumar, a naxal leader from the Karnataka unit had told the police about their plan on setting up a strong base in South India. He had told the police that the naxal movement in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand was facing a crisis of manpower and hence they wanted to intensify operations in South.
In December 2014 the real picture began to emerge and a couple of attacks including one at the Attapaddi village in Palakkad district of Kerala led the police to intensify operations in South India against the naxals.
The armed revolution of South India
A detailed investigation report went on to show that the naxals had commenced their operations in South India under the banner called, "Armed Revolution."
The naxals according to investigations were sources China made arms and when the police had probed an attack at Vellamunda in Kerala, they realized that the movement was turning serious. It was also found that the naxals had re-grouped and had a specific plan for each state in South India.
The operations in Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, there were attempts being made by the naxals to infiltrate into the urban areas. They felt that the mindset of the people needed to change and wanted to take up issues relating to the people in the urban areas.
Although their urban plans were at a very preliminary stage, what the naxals felt is that they should for the time being use Tamil Nadu as a landing point for their arms.
An intelligence bureau report also suggested that some sympathizers of the LTTE were also being roped into the movement who in turn helped them with the procurement of arms.
The camp at Andhra Pradesh
A camp at the Dandakaranya forests in Andhra Pradesh was discovered by the police which went on to suggest that the naxals were regrouping.
The forest area was being used as a training hub and this would go on to become the area which would interlink the naxal movement in South India. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have always been a hub for the naxals until they were driven out.
However the police always have to be on the look out since there are constant attempts being made to re-launch operations in these states.
The problem in Kerala
However for the police the bigger problem today is Kerala. The arrests made last night at Coimbatore reveal that two of the main members Roopesh and his wife Shina are from Kerala.
Both Roopesh and Shina are important members in the naxal set up, the police said after preliminary round of investigations. Roopesh was part of the CPIM (ML) students wing and Shina was a clerk in a court.
The intensity of the naxal movement was intensifying in Kerala and the plan was to stage smaller attacks and then graduate on to the bigger ones. They were attempting to set up a concrete base and were in the process of procuring the arms which was being sent from Tamil Nadu.
The Kerala cadre was targeting rubber plantation workers. This was done in an attempt to increase their manpower and set up a strong base.
Karnataka played a supporting role
In Karnataka, the police have managed to get the better of the naxals. In the build up to the South India operations, some cadres from Karnataka decided to play a supporting role.
When Nandakumar was arrested in the year 2010, he had said that the movement would be rebuilt in South. In the past couple of years, some naxals have been making attempts to target plantation workers and instigate them.
One of the five naxals, Veeramani who was arrested yesterday hails from Karnataka. He is being questioned and the days to come will give a better picture on how they were planning on going about their operations in South India.