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Archive for September 23rd, 2007


Posted by ajadhind on September 23, 2007

Abhijit Sathe,mumbai mirror.

The Naxal movement in Maharashtra has received a major jolt with the arrest of Vishnu alias Srinivasan alias Sreedhar, the police say.

Vishnu and Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram, the other suspected Naxalite who was arrested, was part of the six-member CPI (Maoist) state committee that supervised Naxalite activities in Maharashtra. Their arrest has weakened

Police say Vernon Gonsalves was a top member of the Naxal state unit along with Vishnu

the state committee considerably because Vishnu was the secretary (in the Naxal set-up, a secretary heads the committee) and in charge of all activities, including collection and dispersal of funds.

Vishnu’s dossier prepared by the Anti-Naxalite Operations department has details of his background and personality.

The early days
Fifty-year-old Vishnu, a Tamilian Brahmin, was a student of Elphinstone College in the ’80s when he was attracted by the Naxalite movement because of its fight against exploitation of tribals. Dropping out of college, he joined the movement led by the People’s War Group (PWG) at the time. He was a staunch follower of PWG founder Kondapalli Seetaramaiah, and stayed loyal to the leader even after PWG broke into several factions.

Rise to the top
In his journey with the Naxal movement spanning over 30 years, Vishnu graduated from an ordinary member to state committee secretary and then member of the central committee of the movement. Among Naxal comrades, he is regarded as a ‘professional revolutionary’. So high is his dedication to the organisation that despite marrying a fellow Naxal member Neetu Hirani, Vishnu had a vasectomy done so as not be distracted from the ‘cause’.  “Vishnu chose not to have children as he wanted to be focused on the cause. Also, in Naxal organisations, the growth of an individual is largely dependent on his dedication to the cause,” ATS chief, K P Raghuvanshi told Mumbai Mirror.

According to police sources, Vishnu’s wife Neetu looks after the activities of the organisation in Nashik district. Vishnu, they said, looks after the Naxal dalams (groups) active in Bhandara, Gondia and north Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh. Sources said his job was to provide strategic and tactical support to these groups, collect funds generated through extortion from Tendu contractors and utilise them for organisational activities.

He is also the lone leader of the Naxal movement who always had an armed bodyguard accompanying him on his visits to tribal areas in eastern Maharashtra, ATS sources said. The 9mm pistol seized by the ATS from Vishnu’s house in Govandi two days ago is suspected to belong to his bodyguard, who is absconding.

The Naxal crackdown
The recent arrest of several top Naxal leaders is the result of a nationwide crackdown on CPI (Maoist) operatives that started last year after the Union Home Ministry in its dossier on the Naxal problem in the country found the situation serious and sent feelers to states to crack down on them.

The Home Ministry report had followed a series of attacks by Naxals on state establishments in Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. A disintegrating Naxal force had recently consolidated its resources by coming together to form CPI (Maoists) with the merger of People’s War Group and Marxist Communist Centre and hit the state with a vengeance. At the time the Home Ministry report came, the CPI (Maoist) claimed it had ‘liberated’ 165 districts in the country.  The state in response got back with Anti-Naxal Operations. In a span of one-and-a-half years several leaders were either arrested or gunned down by the police.

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