Sunday, December 11, 2011

Updating the Maoists' top layer profile and my biggest questions on maoism

Organization: The Central Committee is at the apex. It oversees both political and military maters, as well as publicity. The Central Military Commission (CMC) is responsible for all military related matters, such as logistics, training, devising battle tactics. To provide for specialized guidance on military affairs, a Sub Committee on Military Affairs (SCOMA) was formed in 1995 but was disbanded in favour of the CMC. Further, the Sub Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) was formed in 1996 and has been tasked with indoctrinating party cadres. The publishing bureau oversees propaganda and preparation, distribution of party literature and circulars. Regional Bureaus, Zonal/State Committees, District Committees, Squad Area Committees and Village People's Committees are connected with political work.

At the parallel level, there runs the military machine. Armed cadres are organized in the form of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA). The people's militia is at the bottom and is organized as Village Defence Squads. This constitutes the base force. Military platoons constitute the main striking force, while Local Guerrilla Squads and Special Guerrilla Squads form the secondary force.

At the end of the Unity Congress-9th Congress of the CPI(Maoist) in January-February 2007, there were 38 Central Committee (CC) members and 14 Politbureau members. Of these, around 21-22 CC members and 7 Politbureau members remain at large today. Fourteen of the CC members are residents of different villages in Andhra Pradesh, five hail from West Bengal, two from Jharkhand, and one each from Bihar and Karnataka.

A picture of the top guns: Linky

At-large Central Committee members:
1) Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathi -- General Secretary and Gen Sec of PWG
2) Prasanta Bose alias Kishanda -- second in command and Gen Sec of MCC, heads the outfit’s operations in Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam (Eastern Regional Bureau)
3) Nambala Keshav Rao alias V(B)asavraj alias Basab Raj alias Gangana -- chief of the armed wing (Military Commission in-charge)
4) Mallojula Venugopal Rao alias Vivek alias Sonu alias Abhay -- Kishenji's brother, secretary of its Central Regional Bureau of Dandkaranya, appointed official spokesperson in place of Azad on July 7, 2010. Likely to take over Azad’s job of supervising the Maoist publications Vanguard, People’s March and Kranti. Linky

5) Katakam Sudershan alias Anand alias Mohan alias Birenderji -- Vasavaraj's deputy -- As secretary of the outfit’s “central regional bureau”, he is also in charge of operations in the Dandakaranya forests, north Telangana and the Andhra-Orissa border — a belt where the rebels are perhaps most active. The brain behind the Dantewada massacre.
6) Malla Raji Reddi -- arrested in Kerala’s Angamally, 20 km from Kochi, in December 2007, recently obtained bail from a Kerala court and reportedly went underground. Linky, sharp military capability
7) Misir Besra alias Sunirmal -- member of Maoist Central Military Commission (CMC), was arrested in Jharkhand’s Giridih, 200 km north-east of Ranchi, in September 2007, escaped when taken out of court on June 23, 2009
8) Rajesh da alias Majoj

9) Tippiri Tirupati alias Devuji -- sharp military capability
10) Katta (Kadari) Ramachandra Reddy alias Kosa alias Gudsa Usendi -- Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee official spokesman
11) Jingnu Narasimha Reddy alias Jampanna -- sharp military capability
12) Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna alias RK
13) Pulluri Prasada Rao alias Chandranna

14) Ramachandra Reddy Pratap Reddy alias Chalapathi
15) Modem Balakrishna
16) Gajanand Bhaskar alias Parush
17) Mohan alias Mahesh
18) Dev Kumar Singh alias Nishanth
19) Vivek Chenderi Yadav alias Payag
20) Kuppuswamy Devaraj alias Ramesh alias Balaji
21) Rayanna
22) Ranjith Bose alias Kanchan
23) Kadari Satyanarayana Reddy
24) Pratap

Politbureau members:
1) Mupalla Laxman Rao
2) Prashanta Bose
3) Nambala Keshava Rao
4) Mallojula Venugopal Rao
5) Katakam Sudarshan
6) Misir Besra
7) Malla Raji Reddy

Other prominent leaders:
1) Asim Mindal alias Aakash, secretary of the party’s West Midnapore state unit
2) Mansaram Hembram alias Bikash, the only tribal in Bengal’s Maoist leadership
3) Arnab Dam alias Bikram -- from Purulia
4) Ranjit Pal -- from Purulia

Reward:
Mupalla Laxman Rao (reward of INR 24 lakhs),
Nambala Keshav Rao (Rs 19 lakh),
Katakam Sudarshan (Rs 19 lakh),
Mallojula Venugopala Rao (Rs 19 lakh),
Prashanta Bose (Rs 7 lakh),
Malla Raji Reddy (Rs 7 lakh).

Big catches from the list eliminated in the (\approx) last two years:

a) Central Committee Members
Killed:
1) Wadkapur Chandramouli/Chandra Mohan alias Devanna (Dec 2006)
2) Sande Rajamouli alias Prasad (June 2007)
3) Patel Sudhakar Reddy -- Alias Suryam alias Vikas alias Srikanth -- killed May 24, 2009
4) Shakhamuri Appa Rao -- killed Mar 11, 2010 with Kondal Reddy
5) Cherukuri Rajakumar -- Alias Uday alias Azad alias Parimal alias Prasanth alias Madhu alias Gangadhar -- Vasavaraj's other deputy and spokesperson of CPI(M) -- killed in encounter July 2, 2010
6) Mallojula Koteshwar Rao -- Alias Kishenji alias Pradip alias Prahlad -- Eastern India "commander", killed in encounter November 25, 2011

Arrested:
7) Sheela Marandi (July 2006)
8) Amitabha Bagchi -- see below
9) Kobad Gandhy -- see below
10) Tusharkant Bhattacharya -- Alias Srikant, released from jail on Nov 19, 2009 due to lack of evidence, re-arrested Jan 8, 2010
11) Balraj -- Alias Arvind alias B. Prasad Singh, arrested Feb 8, 2010
12) Chintan -- Alias Banshidhar alias Chintan Da alias Banshidhar Singh, arrested Feb 8, 2010
13) Aditya Bora -- arrested in Sundergarh district of Orissa, February 13, 2011
14) Pulendu Sekhar Mukherji -- Alias Saheb alias Gagan alias Akash alias Jhantu alias Jhantu Mukherjee alias Joyda -- arrested from Barsoi village in Katihar district of Bihar April 29, 2011 Linky
15) Varanasi Subrahmanyam -- Alias Vimal alias Srikanth alias Sukant -- as above
16) Vijay Kumar Arya -- Alias Jaspalji alias Amar -- as above

Surrendered:
17) Lanka Venkata Papi Reddy alias Lachchanna

Old/unclassified: Shyam, Mahesh, Murali, Moti Lal Soren, Vishnu, Shobha, Pankaj

Politbureau Members Neutralized:
1) Sushil Roy (May 2005), arrested from Hooghly
2) Narayan Sanyal (Jan 2006)
3) Pramod Mishra (May 2008) arrested from Dhanbad: Alias Bibiji or Banbihariji alias Janardhanji alias Madanji -- arrested on May 11, 2008 Linky
4) Amitabha Bagchi (August 2009) arrested from Ranchi -- Alias Anil, founder of the erstwhile CPI(ML)-Party Unity -- arrested on Aug 19, 2009 (Former Politburo member and secretary of the central military commission of the outfit)
5) Kobad Gandhy (Sept 2009) arrested from Delhi -- Sept 22, 2009, obtained bail on June 16, 2010. Linky
6) Baccha Prasad Singh (Feb 2010) arrested from Kanpur -- Alias Arvind alias Bachha Prasad Singh
7) Cherukuri Rajakumar -- killed July 2, 2010 -- see above
8) Akhilesh Yadav (June 2011) arrested from Gaya -- Alias Jagdish Master alias Jagdish Yadav alias Bhupesh, Politbureau member arrested from Gurar area of Gaya district in Bihar on June 11, 2011
9) Mallojula Koteshwar Rao -- November 25, 2011 -- see above

Others:
1) Satyendra Kushwaha alias Naresh alias Dadan -- arrested Feb 25, 2009
2) Ashutosh Tudu -- arrested in Rourkela, Orissa, in March 2009
3) Tauhild Mula alias Kartik -- arrested Aug 19, 2009
4) Saswati Panda alias Subhashree alias Mili -- arrested Jan 15, 2010
5) Lalmohan Tudu -- killed Feb 23, 2010
6) Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak -- arrested Mar 2, 2010
7) Kondal Reddy alias Tech Ramanna --- killed Mar 11, 2010
8) Marshal Topno -- arrested Mar 16, 2010
9) Bapi Mahato -- arrested June 21, 2010

Caste/Biodata information:
1) Mupalla Laxman Rao -- Born in Beerpur village in Sarangapur mandal in Karimnagar district of AP. He worked as teacher in Karimnagar district and deserted his job for higher education in Warangal. There, he met Nalla Adi Reddy and Kondapalli Seetharamaiah and he joined the naxalite movement. He was one of the early members of Communist Party of India (ML) People's War and grew as General Secretary of the party that is now called as Communist Party of India (Maoist). He is married to Muppalla Vijaya, has two brothers and two sisters.
2) Mallojula Koteshwar Rao -- Born in a poor Brahmin family in Pedapalli in Karimnagar district, which eked out a living on priesthood in nearby temples. His father was a freedom fighter and vice-president of the state branch of the Congress Socialist Party. Kishenji completed school in 1969 and graduated from Adarsha College in Jammikunta. In 1973, after a BSc mathematics degree from Government Degree College, Peddapalli, he moved to Hyderabad to pursue law (LLB degree), but gave up after the first year. He married Maniakka, alias Sujatha, who is a member of the Dandakaranya special zonal committee in Chhattisgarh. She was earlier secretary of the South Bastar divisonal committee.
3) Prashanta Bose -- Comes from Jadavpur in West Bengal. Bose’s wife Sheela Marandi, another central committee member of CPI (Maoist) was arrested in 2006.
4) Nambala Keshav Rao -- Comes from a family of government officials in Srikakulam district. Rao's brothers are Vigilance and CMD level officers in Andhra Pradesh.
5) Mallojula Venugopala Rao -- Brother of Kishenji (one of three sons), Brahmin, A graduate and a resident of Peddapalli in Karimnagar district.
6) Malla Raji Reddy -- hails from Karimnagar district.
7) Katakam Sudarshan -- Born to the weaver community in Bellampally, Adilabad district, studied at a polytechnic in Warangal before joining the People’s War Group of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah in the 1980s. A few years ago he lost his life partner Sadhana, who was secretary of the Maoists’ Adilabad district unit in north Telangana. Linky
8) Kobad Gandhy -- Born into an affluent Parsi family that had a house famed for its antique furniture in Worli Sea Face in Mumbai, an ice-cream factory and a resort in Mahabaleswar. The young Ghandy went to public school and later to Elphinstone College in Mumbai. He married Anuradha who hailed from a Konkan family that owned a coffee plantation. Anuradha died in 2009 of cerebral malaria.
9) Misir Besra -- Hails from Jharkhand

Some questions for which I dont have a clear answer as yet:
1) Why has Karimnagar district produced 15 of the 38 central committee members of the maoists?
A take is provided at Linky

15 Central Committee Members are from Karimnagar district. Karimnagar, named after a Nizam’s son, is on the edge of the Dandakaranya forests in the Deccan plateau and is dotted with forests and hilly tracts that lead to Chhattisgarh, the bloodiest theatre of the rebels. Complementing the lay of the land was a man-made environment of exploitation that drove bonded farm labourers to rebellion in 1973. Several landlords died in the violence that accompanied the demand for more wages. Then a familiar cycle followed. The landlords, belonging to the upper-caste Velama, unleashed the police who cracked down with mindless brutality that was met with retaliations modelled on guerrilla tactics. The brutalities found expression in the film Dasi, where Jagityal, a town in Karimnagar, provides the backdrop.

During the days of the Emergency, the Congress government supported the landlords and tried to crush the peasant movement with military force. Nearly 600 activists were killed in the Dandakaranya jungles of Karimnagar and Warangal. But the seeds had been sown long before. In the early sixties, Maoist top gun Chandra Pulla Reddy led a group on a 20km march in the forests of Karimnagar and Warangal to motivate tribals and farm labourers. The symbolic protest received wide publicity. Kishan’s hometown Peddapalli was the nerve centre of the movement by bonded farm labourers. As the movement took root and the threat from Maoists spread, most landlords migrated to the district headquarters. The Naxalites were seen as liberators from police zulum at the behest of the feudal landlords, said social scientist N. Venugopal.

2) What is the strength of the Maoists now?
A take is provided at Linky

The CPI (Maoist) has around 20,000 firearms and nearly 10,000 cadres, enough to withstand a state-backed onslaught for six months, but it faces a problem of ammunition mismatch, a study by intelligence agencies has found. The estimate is the first of its kind on the Maoists done by central and state intellegince. Twelve states — Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — were included in the study. It said the rebels’ weapon stocks include AK-47s, AK-52s, .303 rifles, assault pistols, Israeli-make sniper rifles and light machine guns.

The gun-manpower ratio stands at 1:2 with the number of personnel in the rebel ranks estimated at 10,000. The study said the Maoists acquired weapons in four ways: i) By snatching them from police stations and dead security forces after blasts and ambushes, ii) Snatching from security guards of industries in Maoist-infested zones, iii) Manufacturing weapons such as pistols, country-made mines and explosives in collusion with local mafia and gangs, iv) Procuring foreign weapons, ammunition and explosives from militant and criminal groups operating within and outside India.

3) Is the Maoist menace defeatable?
My answer: The basic feeding attribute to the Maoist movement is the relative disparity in the growth of people. If the Government of India tries to address this problem, it allocates invaluable resources to equalize growth at the cost of self-entrenched prosperity dictated by the "law of the few." And further, such a redressal mechanism bows down to the superiority of the Maoist revolutionary logic that growth should perforce be equalized. On the other hand, if the Government of India ignores this disparity, the Maoist menace self-feeds itself. Alas, a balance needs to be achieved between these two extremes.

Such a balance should recognize the fact that the Government of India cannot kill the Maoist menace. Nor should it try to. The goal should focus on making the Maoist menace an irritant that is toleratable in a gross strategic calculation of territory controlled, peoples ruled and power emanated rather than to invest diminishing returns at trying to vanquish a beast that has more than just nine lives.

4) So where does the stable equilibrium in this pursuit of the balance lie? What measures could be taken toward this stable equilibrium?
i) Neutralizing the Politbureau and Central Committee Members, Zonal and Divisional Commanders of the outfit,
ii) de-legitimizing the overground workers and propagandists of the Party in various overt and covert forms,
iii) effective measures to de-corrupt administration at all levels,
iv) regulating PUCL via an act of law,
v) strengthening NHRC and other States' Human Rights Commissions in both mandate as well as in terms of administrative sanction to hear cases of abuse,
vi) strengthening the Fourth Estate by appointments of Central and States Ombudsman that are semi-independent of legislative oversights,
vii) law and order reform with a view to humanizing the attitudes and actions of Police forces in the Maoist belt (as well as the rest of India) by including continuing education courses to that effect,
viii) promotion of women's self-employment, rights' awareness and poverty alleviation schemes,
ix) providing a fair share of the resources divested from the Maoist belt to the local populations, and
x) overall uni-directional growth of the Indian economy and standards of living
are some of the points that have been suggested by different think-tanks and informed people.

5) Why are the AP-based maoists more violent than the WB-based maoists? Why do AP-based maoists dominate the military wing whereas the WB-based maoists dominate the policy, propaganda and ideology wings of the party? Why is the Spokesperson job reserved for AP-based maoists?

6) What is the share of women and tribals in the maoists movement? Are the women less violent than the men, are the Brahmins less violent than the tribals, and other stereotyping?
A take is provided at: Linky

7) The Communist dialectic and literature is rich enough that different attributions can be made to explain the maoist menace. Some claim that India is in the middle of an agrarian crisis, others claim it to be a class war, yet another set of people claim it to be a war between the revolutionaries (Proletariat) and the reactionaries (Bourgeois). So which of the three is it? Which part dominates the other two? What part does caste oppression play a role in feeding the maoist menace? What part does exploitation of forest and mining resources feed into this mess?

8) Why do the maoists have a dire need to use pen-names at random? Who are Abhay, Akash and Gudsa Usendi? Why was Mallojula Koteshwara Rao fond of the Kishen moniker?

9) Why are there more Sorens and Mahatos in the rank and file of the maoists than Xalcos or Mundas?

10) Why did MCCI and CPI(ML)-PW merge? Who were responsible for this merger?
What is the movement from PLGA to PLA supposed to mean?

11) What did the Purulia arms drop have to do with the maoists' increased fire-power?

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