Naxals forged ties with ISI with SIMI’s help: Bengal DGP

NEW DELHI (TIP): Maoists may have been facing all-round reverses in West Bengal ever since chief minister Mamata Banerjee took charge of the state last year, but they have forged a deadly alliance with the Pakistani spy agency ISI through overground radicals and remnants of the banned outfit SIMI during the period. Revelation was made by the West Bengal police chief Naparajit Mukherjee here on Thursday when he told a gathering of chief secretaries and DGPs of other naxal-affected states about the growing Maoist-ISI nexus in four districts of the state.

Expressing his anguish over the development, he is learnt to have said that the nexus had been reported after arrests of some Maoists who elaborated how overground sympathizers of the Red Ultras acted as a ‘link’ for them. Murshidabad,West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura are the four districts where the West Bengal Police had noticed actions that hinted at Maoist-ISI linkages. The link is believed to be helping the ultras in getting arms and ammunition through existing network of north-east insurgents.

Though the Union home ministry did not add to what Mukherjee told the gathering over the nefarious link, security and intelligence agencies spoke about the possibility through Maoists sympathizers. They also said that the Maoists’ support to the Jammu & Kashmir terrorists for their cause in the bordering state had never been a secret. The disclosure of Mukherjee comes even as Bengal has shown remarkable change in the situation where it effectively controlled the Red menace in the past one year through consistent intelligence-based operations against the Red Ultras.

Home ministry latest figures on naxal violence show that West Bengal – once a hotbed of Maoist activities – has, in fact, moved closer to what Andhra Pradesh had achieved by reporting zero casualty consistently in past so many years. Ministry’s statistics, based on state’s reports, show that none of three highly Maoist-affected districts – West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura — did not reported any killing in the past 10 months. The period, which incidentally coincides with the Banerjee’s rule in the state, had also seen the elimination of senior naxal leaders including top CPI(Maoist) politburo member Kishenji and arrest of several others during joint operations of state police and central paramilitary forces.West Midnapore, which witnessed as many as 360 deaths of civilians and security personnel during 2009-11, has reported zero casualty this year. Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, Murshidabad and Malda have also not reported any casualty.

Officials here believed that human intelligence-based ‘specific’ operations as well as the CM’s approach to reach out to people directly in the Maoist-affected districts had played important role in achieving such a situation in West Bengal.

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