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The contours of Lashkar-Naxal bonhomie

June 22, 2009 19:28 IST

The interrogation report on Mohammad Madani mentions the Communist Party of India-Maoist and now the Union government has also declared it as a terror outfit.

When Madani was questioned, he had specifically mentioned that the Maoists have a direct link with the dreaded, Pakistan-based terror outfit, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

The question how long the Maoists have had links with the LeT and what purpose does this unholy matrimony serve both parties.

The Lashkar has been eyeing the West Bengal bastion for over the past eight years now. Prior to the Mumbai attack there were around eight terror modules of the Lashkar which were being controlled by the Harkat-ul-Jihadi, the Bangladesh-based sister concern of the Lashkar.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that following the Mumbai attack, several of these modules disintegrated and the number has come down drastically.

The Lashkar has been in constant touch with the Maoists who have been helping the terror operatives find a safe route into West Bengal.

Basically what the Lashkar was trying was to replicate the Assam formula. As has been said in the past, the main route for the Lashkar was to enter India through the Kashmir border.

When security around this border was tightened, they then moved towards Assam. In Assam, the Lashkar through the HuJI entered into a deal with local groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom in order to keep their India operations going.

After the border around Assam was tightened, the Lashkar moved towards the Nepal border which proved a safe route until the crackdown in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attack took place.

IB sources deal with the Maoists was simple as the Lashkar sensed that the Maoists were planning on waging a violent battle and were desperately in need of arms and also training.

The Lashkar offered them both in exchange for logistics support. The Maoists helped the Lashkar with safe entry into West Bengal for its cadres.

Once this was taken care of, then the Lashkar constantly supplied arms to the local groups. On several occasions, a senior member of the local group was also sent to one of the Lashkar camps for training.

Such persons were sent in batches across the border and they in turn returned to their base camps and imparted training to the rest of the cadres.

The IB says that this partnership does not necessarily mean that the local groups were in the know of all the activities that the Lashkar or any other group undertook within the country.

The duty of the local group is restricted only to providing logistics during the initial part and also providing shelter for the foreign cadre.

The worry however is that the Lashkar link does not end at just West Bengal or Assam.

They have backed up their options and have also entered into deals with similar groups in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Vicky Nanjappa