New Delhi, Oct. 15: Ties between the Manipur-based People’s Liberation Army/ Revolutionary People’s Front (PLA/RPF) with the CPI(Maoist) has grown organically for two years to become a full-fledged strategic relationship.
The PLA has bagged an order for rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and for 1,000 more weapons so that CPI(Maoist) can carry out attacks on “enemy camps”, evidence fished out in the past two weeks has revealed.
Maoists have not only found guerrilla trainers and suppliers of world-class communication equipment in the PLA, the CPI(Maoist) also see the benefits that could accrue from the Manipuri militants’ Chinese links. This year the PLA bought Kenwood TH-K-2AT wireless communication sets specifically for the Maoists.
PLA trainers were in Jharkhand last year. From August onward, three PLA trainers imparted a two-month module on combat and communication training to CPI(Maoist) cadres in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The training sessions were held in the jungles along the Jharkhand-Orissa border, sources said.
For some time now, Maoists have created “liberated” pockets in this belt, down from north-eastern Andhra Pradesh into pockets of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. Recently, a young man from Assam allegedly associated with Maoist organisations was arrested from Orissa.
That a relationship is budding was reconfirmed (earlier inputs, also reported in these columns, suggested association of the two since 2009) from evidence seized from PLA leader and coordinator with the Maoists, Ningthambam Ranjit alias Wangba and his colleague Arunkumar Salam. The duo were arrested in New Delhi on October 1.
Carriage of arms cannot be achieved alone. Therefore in September, Ranjit is said to have sent an acquaintance to meet Raj Kumar Meghen, the UNLF chairman, in a Guwahati jail. The purpose was to explore the possibility of organising trans-shipment of arms from Myanmar.
Disclosures by Ranjit, who is the self-styled chief of the PLA’s “external affairs”, talks of Maoist requests for training of CPI(Maoist) cadres in Dandakaranya on handling of sophisticated communication equipment.
Contents of documents, which The Telegraph accessed, revealed PLA trainers were requested to be located in Maoist-held areas for a year. The PLA has been asked to help the CPI(Maoist) procure communication systems that would enable a worldwide link.
Evidence shows there is not only a “thickening of operational relationship but also an audacious plan” to forge a “Strategic United Front” that includes CPI(Maoist), Northeast outfits and militant groups operating in Kashmir. A concept paper on this front was to be finalised by early 2012, sources said.
An internal report of the government of India claims that the outfit sees the Front to be an instrument to “counter the psycho war” of the government against resistance movements. “The Maoists have also agreed to the RPF/PLA proposal of maintaining contact and collaborating in foreign countries,” the report states.
To cut deals and deepen and broaden relations, another meeting of PLA leaders and senior CPI(Maoist) will take place later this year at the CPI(Maoist) Eastern Regional Bureau Headquarters, sources said.