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Maoists planning to strengthen base in NE

 RANCHI, April 17 – The CPI(Maoist), on the backfoot after prolonged operations in Saranda forest in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district, is planning to strengthen itself with tie-ups with insurgent groups in the North East, reports PTI.

 A letter sent to 13 States, including Jharkhand, by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Maoist efforts to expand to new areas said that they planned to strengthen their Eastern Regional Bureau which was guiding the movement in all the States of the eastern region.

“...The North East is another region where the CPI (Maoist) is trying to spread its wings ... with the objectives which include strengthening the outfit’s Eastern Regional Bureau, procurement of arms/ammunition/communication equipment,” the six-page letter said.

It noted that the CPI-Maoist had developed close relationship with the Manipur-based People’s Liberation Army, which was not only in a position to procure weapons from foreign sources, but had also provided training to Maoist cadres. The NSCN (I/M) also appeared to have been used for training to the rebels, it added.

The letter, however, said it would not be easy for the Maoists to establish themselves in the North East abounding in ethnicity based militias, but they could use their ‘theoretical support’ to ‘nationalities’ to gain a foothold in the region and forge relationships with ethnic militant groups.

The Maoists’ presence was first noticed in Assam in 2006 with the ultras targeting the ‘existing political movements’, the letter said. It estimated that the banned Maoist outfit had around one hundred cadres, including 25 to 30 armed, in Assam with Mahesh, a Central Committee member from the Rabha community appearing to be in charge.

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