As per sources, the National Investigation Agency may soon join the probe.
The Maoists’ plan to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a sign of their desperation after losing many of their strongholds in the last four years, feel the anti-extremist special intelligence branch (SIB) police based out of Hyderabad. The officials in the SIB are aware of such desperate plans by the Maoists whenever they were in deep crisis over the years.
The chargesheet filed by the Pune police to a local court against five arrested Maoists on Friday is followed by SIB cops in Hyderabad, according to sources in the city police who gave their initial reaction to this newspaper. “We are not surprised at the conspiracy plans and we have seen several such things over the last two decades,” an official dealing with anti-Maoist operations said.
There is a possibility of the details of the letter recovered by the cops from the residence of one of the five arrested, Rona Wilson, and allegedly written to a Maoist activist, Comrade Prakash, being analysed by the SIB and NIA (National Investigation Agency) officials soon. As the plan involves the assassination of a PM, the NIA, too, might step in to probe it, sources said. The Hyderabad police will also question “revolutionary” writer Vara Vara Rao, whose name appeared in the letter as someone who would have to organise the funds needed for hatching the plot.
The 32-line letter released by the ANI agency refers to the role of the now jailed Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, who is also a Dalit face in the Maoist ranks. Saibaba is an active ideologue who believed the empowerment of the Dalits was possible only through the success of the Maoists’ struggles in India. There has been a campaign to secure Saibaba’s release from Maharashtra jails for the last few years and this latest letter, allegedly signed by Rona Wilson, nails the latter’s role in criminal conspiracies targeting the PM. Saibaba allegedly acted as a conduit between the underground and over-ground ranks of the Maoists.
The SIB cops in Hyderabad are likely to go into the details of a struggle in the Maoist ranks where a comrade Prashant had revolted against Saibaba. The cops have a hint of a possible clash between a fundamentalist Dalit and a moderate Maoist (with less stress on caste lines).
The majority leadership led by the Maoists’ central committee secretary Ganapathy, alias Muppala Lakshman Rao, is against a Dalit fundamentalist approach to their armed struggle, while thehardliners, especially those from the Dalit background and a section of the Maoist Coordination Committee that merged with People’s War to form the CPI (ML-Maoists), think otherwise.
That is the reason why this militant Dalit section got involved with the protests at Bhima-Koregaon in Maharashtra, early January this year. All the five Maoists, including Rona Wilson, now in police custody, were nabbed from different parts of the country. The second para of the letter recovered from Rona Wilson talks about the plan or urgency to assassinate PM Modi as “he has been aggressively implementing OGH (Operation Green Hunt) in central and eastern India”, where the Maoists have safe havens. The BJP governments in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and the strong anti-Maoist police in Hyderabad have launched an attack on Maoists since 2014. The cops here recalled the VIP targeted violence of Maoists for the last 25 years and how they had killed several ministers, MPs and made attempts to kill Andhra Pradesh CMs N. Janardhan Reddy in 1992 and N. Chandrababu Naidu in 2003. A pro-Dalit section of the erstwhile People’s War had killed Daggubati Chenchu Ramaiah, a TDP leader in revenge against the Tsundur Dalit massacre in the late 1980s.
There have been instances of Maoists trying hard to join hands with Muslim fundamentalist groups since the Babri mosque demolition, and LTTE terrorists when Prabhakaran was alive, a retired senior police officer who led the anti-Maoist operations in the combined AP told this newspaper.
Senior officers of Telangana and Andhra have of late been anticipating some sort of “sensational actions” from the Maoists. “What could be the best time than an election year to carry out some daring actions when the VVIP leaders come close to people?” asked a senior police officer from Visakhapatnam.
However, the cops have expressed confidence that the current level of security provided to the VVIPs is far superior to that of a few years ago.
It was possible that the Maharashtra police must have shared the details of the letter recovered from Rona Wilson six months ago. The plan to eliminate the PM also reflects the Maoists’ desperation and frustration over losing their battle, said the official. Addressing a press confidence in Hyderabad on Saturday, Vara Vara Rao admitted that he has known Rona and Surendra Gadling for over 20 years, but denied hatching a conspiracy to kill the PM. Vara Vara Rao and Prof G. Haragopal, human rights activist, demanded a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the murder plan charges.