Rebels plan Bangla meet for strong base

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By KINSUK BASU in Calcutta
  • Published 22.08.05

Calcutta, Aug. 22: Maoists from Bengal are eyeing Bangladesh to strengthen their network.

Close on the heels of the serial blasts in Bangladesh, intelligence agencies here have stumbled upon a plan that suggests that Maoists from across South Asian countries are planning a conclave in Bangladesh to discuss operations in India, with the thrust on Bengal.

In a recent letter to home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy, intelligence agencies have warned that the Co-ordination Committee of Maoists Party and Other Organisations of South Asia ? the umbrella organisation of the rebel outfits in this part of the continent ? is planning its third annual conference in Bangladesh.

The agenda is to discuss in detail plans on strengthening their network in India, with Bengal as the focus.

Top-rung leaders from various countries, including India, will attend the conclave scheduled to be held from December 18 to 29 at Rajsahi. Two senior leaders of the CPI (Maoists) from Bengal are also scheduled to participate in the meet, which will chart out, among other things, ways of forging an alliance with outfits from Bengal.

“Besides Maoists from Nepal, representatives of the Revolutionary Communist Party from Sri Lanka, Maoist Co-ordination Committee of Pakistan and two factions of the Purba Bangla Sarbahara Party are scheduled to attend the conclave. Apart from two leaders from Bengal, other top-rung representatives of the People’s War-MCC combine are also set to attend the meeting,” a senior home department official said during the day.

Intelligence agencies observing recent developments across the border maintain that the conclave is likely to work out strategies to spearhead the movement in Bengal where, unlike Andhra Pradesh, the CPI (Maoists) has not been declared a banned outfit.

Among the strategies, experts say, the leaders attending the meeting are likely to discuss how leaders from Nepal could offer support ? both in terms of money and weapons ? for their counterparts in Bengal.

“The meeting is likely to discuss the issue of building a ‘Maoist channel’ from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh using Bengal as the centre. This has been the long-term aim.

While Andhra leaders have already lent their support for Bengal, the Maoists from Nepal have not made much progress. This is one of the issues that is likely to find priority in this conference,” said a member of the intelligence agency.