Squeezed out of Chhattisgarh, the naxal menace takes shape in Kerala
New Delhi, Dec 25: The crackdown on naxalites in their strongholds of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha has forced the Maoists to take refuge in other states.
Back in the month of May 2018, a report was put out by the Southern Range police which spoke about the rise of the naxalite movement in South India.
There has been no specific act of violence, but there has been movement of naxalites in the Western Ghats, Dakshin Kannada, Shimoga, Kodak, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Kerala in particular has been on the radar of the naxalites for long. There were several intelligence reports about how arms were being smuggled in from Sri Lanka through Tamil Nadu and then being dropped off at Kerala. In addition to this, naxal related literature had been found on various occasions in Kerala.
In addition to this the naxalites declared their support to the plantation workers in Nilambur, Kerala. A four member group of the naxalites visited the Plantation Corporation Kerala Limited and distributed notices and posters extending their support to the plantation workers.
An Intelligence Bureau which deals with the rise of naxal movement in south says that the most sightings of the Maoists has been at Kannur, Wayannad, Mallapuram, Palakkad and Kozhikode. There are constantly in the lookout for unexplored jungles and are even getting in touch with the locals to help set up their base, the report also stated. The jungles of Wayannad have been used extensively by the naxalites who undertake their arms training programme over there.
There has been a constant movement of naxalites in the southern states. They were spotted in large numbers in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. However due to enhanced activity by the security machinery, they have moved to the jungles of Kerala.
The IB report states that naxals would move in between these three states using the jungle routes. It becomes very difficult for the security machinery to coordinate owing to jurisdiction issues. As a result of this, it becomes necessary for the central forces to undertake operations in these areas in a bid to overcome the jurisdiction issues.
In a bid to increase their presence in Kerala, the naxalites are raking up labour related issues. As mentioned above in this article, the naxalites extended support to the plantation workers in Nilambur. In the notices, the naxals demanded that the daily wage be increased to Rs 800 from the existing Rs 391.
The Kerala police however say that they have not yet been able to gain the traction they have been looking for. This is a tactic to increase their local support, without which no operation by them would be possible. We are keeping a close watch on their activity and will ensure that they do not succeed, the police also say.