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Naxalites sneak into Left Front ranks

Calcutta, Aug. 22: Several Naxalite outfits in the state, taking advantage of police attention on the CPI(M-L) People’s War activities, have started infiltrating wings of the CPM and some of its partners in the Left Front.

Making things more difficult for the intelligence agencies is the “fact” that many of these “infiltrators” have, at some time or the other, shared a “very close” relationship with the People’s War, said officials.

But the police glare, according to leaders of the rebel outfits, is acting as a double-edged sword. On many instances, their cadre have been victims of “mistaken identity” — with the police mistaking them for People’s War activists and picking them up for interrogation or arresting them, they said.

These outfits — there are about 30 large and small groups, some with a strength of a few thousand and some boasting of a few dozen cadre operating in various parts of the state — are trying to make the best of the situation in which police have their guns firmly trained on only the People’ War, said intelligence sources.

Concentrating on the political party that wields the greatest “influence” in an area, these groups are encouraging their cadre to “mingle with the organisation so finely that they become indistinguishable”.

Significantly, this was a strategy adopted by the People’s War in the last party congress in the Dandakaranya area of Orissa, said sources.

According to intelligence reports, the riverine area close to the Indo-Bangla border where North 24-Parganas merges into South 24-Parganas has become a hotspot for Naxalite outfits trying to infiltrate the ranks of the Left Front partners.

The Marxist-Leninist Resistance Group (MLRG), according to reports, has made “deep inroads” into the RSP organisation in areas like Hingalganj and Jogeshganj in North 24-Parganas. Similar efforts are being made by a splinter group of the Maoist Coordination Centre, which is operating under cover with the name MCC (West Bengal).

If it’s the RSP in North and South 24-Parganas, it’s the Forward Bloc in the Khairasol-Kirnahar belts of Birbhum. The CPI(M-L) Unity Initiative is encouraging its activists to infiltrate the ranks of the front partner in the area close to the Bengal-Jharkhand border.

Even the CPM’s students’ wing, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), has fallen prey to the tendency, said sources.

Some of its units have been infiltrated by activists of another outfit (the Students’ Vanguard) pushing its agenda (like resistance against the hike in tuition fees) by influencing SFI activists.

The growing number of Naxalite outfits in Bengal was initially welcomed by the state machinery as it felt the smaller organisations would be weaker and easier to monitor, said intelligence officials.

However, with the police finding it difficult to distinguish between the People’s War and the other Naxalite outfits in many areas, the latter have become a “definite headache”.

Sample this:

n The MCC first split in 1999, resulting in the formation of a group called RCIM; another split occurred earlier this year, resulting in the MCC(WB).

n Though a large chunk of the Revolutionary Students’ Association (the students’ wing of Party Unity) and the All-Bengal Students’ Association (students’ wing of the CPI(M-L) Liberation) united to become the Revolutionary Students’ Federation (students’ wing of the People’s War), others like the All-India Students’ Association (now a wing of Liberation) remain.

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