New Delhi, Aug 30: The urban movement is the main source for providing leadership and resources to the CPI(Maoist). The responsibility for provision of supplies, technologies, expertise, information and other logistic support is also shouldered by the overground activists in urban centres, officials have said.
Since 2001, altogether 6,956 civilians and 2,517 security personnel have been killed by the CPI (Maoist), according to a government figure. Naxal violence has also caused massive damage to infrastructure and virtually stalled development activities in some parts of the country.
As many as 128 organisations suspected to be having links with Maoists were identified by the UPA government in 2012 and some of those arrested by the Maharashtra Police in recent crackdown were part of these front groups of the red ultras, officials also said.
As the government received flak for the arrest of a few rights activists for suspected Naxal links, officials came out with a list, prepared by the then UPA dispensation in 2012, of organisations "having connections with the Maoists".
"The UPA government had, in December 2012, identified 128 organisations with linkages to the CPI (Maoists) and written to all state governments asking them to take action against people involved with these organisations. Seven of those Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Mahesh Raut arrested so far belong to the organisations appearing in this list," a government official said requesting anonymity.
While Rao, Bhardwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves were arrested yesterday, Gadling, Wilson and Raut were arrested on June 6.
Ferreira and Gonsalves, two of the five arrested yesterday, were held in 2007 too and they had spent several years in prison.
Similarly, Rao has been arrested several times by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Police in the past.
The official said what is under investigation in the current case are the linkages of these individuals with the CPI (Maoist), a banned organisation operating with the devious objective of overthrowing democratic order, and the support provided by them to the CPI (Maoist).
"Such individuals cannot escape responsibility for aiding and abetting the violent acts committed by CPI (Maoist)'s underground cadres," the official said.
"The CPI (Maoist), towards achievement of its ultimate objective of seizure of political power through protracted peoples war, attaches immense importance to the urban movement which works towards creation of a United Front in support of their movement," another official said.
The Maharashtra Police has named the organisations to which the arrested people belong: Surendra Gadling (General Secretary, Indian Association of People's Lawyers), Rona Wilson (Public Relation Secretary, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners), Sudhir Dhawale (Republican Panthers), Shoma Sen (Executive Member, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights) and Mahesh Raut (State Convener, Maharashtra, Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan). All were arrested on June 6.