In what CRPF officials see as a new trend emerging in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, Maoists, who until now restricted themselves to communicating through pamphlets, letters and press releases on paper, appear to be gravitating towards communication through social media.
In its latest release following the killing of four People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) militants during an encounter with CRPF’s CoBRA commandos in Chintalnar area of Bastar’s Sukma, CPI-Maoists released an audio clip with a message by its chief of South Bastar divisional committee, Vikas.
The message, released on Wednesday, is being spread through WhatsApp.
In the four-minute clip, Vikas calls on the intelligentsia and the media to demand a judicial inquiry into the encounter. “It is good for us operationally, (since) it has the potential to generate intelligence inputs,” the officer said.
The officer also said, “They (Maoists) keep blowing up mobile towers but can’t live without technology themselves. Many mobile towers have been set up in the jungles of Chhattisgarh in the last few years, and security forces protect these towers.
They have brought connectivity to the region, and Maoists are also using it.”
In the audio clip, Vikas is heard saying, “In Bhimapuram Dumguda village, DRG (District Reserve Group, a locally raised force) and CRPF CoBRA surrounded a platoon of PLGA soldiers and sprayed bullets on them. Please criticise this incident. Please pay last respect to the martyrs…. We condemn this incident and the continued oppression by the State…. Our party appeals to the well-wishers of tribals, students, the intelligentsia and mediapersons to demand a judicial inquiry against this blatant murder and generate a movement until the guilty are punished.”
Slamming the Congress government in the state, Vikas said, “Following the Assembly elections, a Congress government led by Bhupesh Baghel has come to power. This government is following the same policy of suppressing people’s movement that the Raman Singh government (of the BJP) followed…”
The militant leader identified the Maoists killed as Kamlu, alias Jagdeesh, a “deputy commander”, Dudi Hidma, alias Durgesh, Vanjam Guddi, and Mariam Sudhri.
According to the CRPF, based on specific intelligence generated by its network, the CoBRA battalion raided a Maoist camp in Bhimaram in Sukma in the early hours of Tuesday. In a gunbattle lasting 45 minutes, four Maoists were killed.
The CRPF recovered four guns and a lot of ammunition, according to information.