Pune: The arrest of five persons for alleged Maoist links has revealed that Maoists are tapping urban areas, especially students, as tribals have been refusing to follow their ideology.
The arrested persons have been identified as Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, who has started Republican Panthers Jatianchi Chalwal, Rona Wilson from Delhi, spokesperson of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, Professor Shoma Sen, activists Mahesh Raut and advocate Surendra Gadling from Nagpur, who has taken up cases of several alleged Maoists.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Ravindra Kadam, on Thursday, said, “Maoists are trying hard to lure students to their side. They are participating in street plays, college festivals and various student associations. In the past also, we have seen that Maoists have impressed upon students to join them. Pune has got a huge student population.”
The officer said that there is a need to keep tab on students. “We have to see that students do not go on the wrong path,” he added.
Officials told Sakal Times that the special cell of Pune city police operates anti-Maoist cell to keep watch on the Left Wing Extremism in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Apart from students, Maoists get potential workers from the construction as well as unorganised sectors as it is easy to motivate them to Maoist ideologies, they said.
Another officer added, “There is need to increase manpower of anti-Maoist cell as a handful of constables are tasked with the job. The staff need to be trained regularly and they should not become idle thinking its a side posting.”
Police officials said that soon officers from local police stations and ATS will interact with high school and college students. “There has to be a counter-propaganda to wean away students from Maoists ideologies,” the officer added.
Several students have joined Kabir Kala Manch, a city based organisation, which is under investigation for being one of the organisers of Elgaar Parishad at Shaniwarwada on December 31. They reportedly sang revolutionary songs.