In conversation with Biplob Ghosal of Zeenews.com, former military intelligence officer and ex-Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer, RSN Singh cautions India about the challenge that emanates from its own soil, i.e., the violence-infested threat from Maoists. Singh also gives a detailed view of the foreign connection to the insurgency.
Biplob: What about the foreign aid to Maoists? India is concerned about aid possibly coming to Indian Maoists from Nepal and China.
Singh: Earlier when people said there is direct involvement of China in assisting Maoists, nobody believed it and said there was no proof, but now there is ample proof. There are Maoist leaders who are going to Yunan province of China for training and arms and ammunitions. In Myanmar’s Kachin province, China have provided a weapon manufacturing facility, which produces replica of AK 47 rifles, which are supplied to the Maoists.
There is a collusion between Maoists, insurgents of the northeast and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and as time passes, these linkages will go stronger and therefore we have a huge internal security problem at hand.
It does not require too much of intelligence insight to expose these emerging linkages. These are the same people who have been sharing dais in Delhi i.e. the Kashmiri separatists, Islamist fundamentalists and the Maoist ideologues.
There are Europe based organisations which are funding them - same organisations which were funding in Nepal and The Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) is also financially assisting them.
The foreign hand was very clear when Binayak Sen was judicially proceeded against. Sen was after all no international figure, therefore the support extended by Nobel laureates who had received their awards in 50s and early 60s is even more suspect.
The overt faces of Maoists were very clear when Sen was being tried in our courts and the foreign-backed entire brigade of so called human rights activists all seeped down to Raipur. So what brought them here?
Maoists have linkages with the Dawood gang as well. Not only this, Maoists have also got into drug racket. They have even been forcing people to cultivate opium. So it is a huge nexus which is emerging.
As far as China is concerned, let’s not forget the example of Nepal. When Nepal’s arms resurrection by the Maoists was at its peak, Chinese authorities kept saying they had nothing to do with it.
However, after Prachanda came to power, he was invited to Beijing Olympics. Following this, there were flurry of official and unofficial visits of Chinese delegates to Nepal.
China has multi-layered leverages, seemingly desperate, but being orchestrated by Chinese authorities. Most people are conscious of the fact that in this orchestration the CPI (M) is a parliamentary route to the capture of state power, the CPI (ML) is the semi parliamentary route and the CPI (Maoist) is the armed route. Though, they appear to be antagonistic, in the ultimate analysis they complement each other. After any Maoist violence if you will seldom see or hear a CPI (M) or CPI (ML) spokesman condemning Maoist terror, if it all they do, they invariably qualify it.
They all enjoy patronage of China and the Chinese are not averse to the growth of these various offshoots because they ultimately feel that only that root will gain ground whose time has come. One proof which vindicates my stand is that no CPM leader or Maoist leader criticising China on any related issue and even when it concerns the vital interests of India.
Biplob: How should India tackle it without hampering its ties with other countries?
Singh: All these so called ideologues should be exposed. It is not very difficult to find out who are these ideologues. They are nothing but overt face of the Maoists. To that extent it is a very sophisticated challenge. Even more committed and dangerous are the benefactors and protagonists of the Maoists residing in urban areas, enjoying the respectability of intellectuals, media personalities, lawyers, doctors, social activists and NGOs. Most of them are on the payroll of Maoists. They are part of the Maoist agenda to destabilise India in every possible manner. Their respectability is their main weapon.
When 73 CRPF personnel were killed in Dantewada, there was a party in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Our people living in metros and urban areas feel safe at the moment, so they find a lot of romanticism in the gun culture. The people of the Maoist affected areas need quick deliverance by the state or else many more generations would have to be sacrifices to this violence and terror.
The infiltration of Maoists in urban areas is formidable, not in terms of armed threat for now, but definitely in terms of disproportionate influence the so called intellectual cadres wield in the media and over the policy-making apparatus at the national level.
Once, I told a former home secretary that there is enough proof to proceed against these people and he also agreed that they can be put behind the bars. He said they have no problems as long as these people sympathise with the Maoists, but when the Maoists tell them to organise a rally or a meeting and they do it at their behest, then there is a problem.
Biplob: Are Maoists bigger threat to India than cross-border terrorists?
Singh: I think so, and that’s why I said that you cannot quantify it like this. Cross border terrorism can be contained if you are vigilant on your borders, cogent in engaging with your external enemies who are sponsoring terrorism. But here are people who influence elections and dictate terms to corporates. Here are the people who are controlling mineral activities. They also have nexus with Pakistan’s ISI, China, LeT and Dawood Ibrahim. Here are people with a whole battery of ideologues, some very respectable people.