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October date for Naxalite merger

Patna, Feb. 26: Naxalite outfits Maoist Communist Centre and People’s War are set to merge by the end of this year, sources here said. The merger has been tentatively scheduled for October-end.

The final decision of a union was taken at a meeting between the chiefs of the two outfits, People’s War general secretary Ganapathy and the MCC’s G. Shome. They had met at an undisclosed hideout on February 17.

Ganapathy is believed to have been touring Jharkhand and Bihar in the second week of this month.

The two leaders were learnt to have expressed satisfaction at the way the ceasefire between the supporters of the two outfits had helped sink differences and carry forward the merger talks — the possibility of which had sent shivers down the Bihar administration.

A recent Union home ministry report and a meeting of the chief ministers in Delhi had expressed fears that a union of the outfits would be a blow to law and order in Jharkhand and Bihar.

It has been tentatively decided that the MCC and the People’s War in Bihar would be one unit that will retain its present name, Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC-I).

In its first phase, members of what used to be the Party Unity, which was active in south and central Bihar and had merged with People’s War in August, 1998, would be treated as members of the MCC-I.

The People’s War is yet to decide if its units in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh would follow suit but “the Bihar-Jharkhand unit would like to show the way”, said sources.

At the Ganpathy-Shome meeting, the leaders reportedly emphasised the difficulty in “operations” because of the presence of multiple outfits. They cited the example of Nepal where the Maoists were waging war against the government as one unit.

Even the Nepali Maoist website points at the existence of multiple underground “revolutionary” groups in India in its plea for support to their “cause”.

At the formal announcement of the merger, the Naxalite outfits would like to invite delegates of at least 13 Maoist organisations active in South Asia, including the Nepali Maoists and delegates from the Communist Party of Philippines and the Communist Party of Iran.

“We would not formally announce a date for security reasons but let us say roughly by this year end, we would be one,” said the outfits’ spokesmen.

The leaders have decided that till a final meeting to sort out logistical problems, the activists of the two outfits would be allowed opportunities to interact better and close ranks.

Joint rallies have been announced. In Bihar, the MCC and the People’s War will jointly hold a rally on March 20. A similar rally will be organised in Calcutta on March 29.

The proposal for the merger of the two organisations had earlier been supported at the senior leaders’ level. But the stumbling block was the hostility between the cadre. At the ground level, they have been at loggerheads for long.

Recently, two splinter groups of the MCC — the RCC(M), headed by slain leader Sagar Chatterjee’s wife Nirmala, and the RCC(I), led by a faction from Punjab — sank differences and merged with the MCC. It became the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC-I).

“This led the warring groups to a rethink on the merger”, said People’s War spokesman Prakash.

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