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Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 14:36 UK

Leak reveals India Maoist threat

By Sunil Raman
BBC News, Delhi

Maoist rebels on patrol in Andhra Pradesh (2005)
The rebels are fighting for communist rule in several Indian states

The Indian government has obtained a leaked report that reveals the strategy of the country's Maoist insurgents.

The report is formulated by the group's top policy-making body, the politburo.

It calls for attacks on Indian security forces and efforts to stop multi-national corporations from taking over mines in central and eastern India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says the insurgency is the single biggest threat to India's security. Maoist violence affects a third of all districts.

Last week, Mr Singh said India was losing the battle against the rebels.

The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of the poor. They operate in a large swathe of territory across central and eastern India.

More than 6,000 people have been killed during their 20-year fight for a communist state.

'Bitter' fight

Calling upon Maoist cadres to mobilise and carry out "tactical" operations against India's security forces, the 20-page document says that Mr Singh's government is preparing to destroy their resistance.

Accusing the government of linking up with the "imperialist" United States, the Maoist report asks cadres to meticulously plan attacks against symbols of government and to "seize" political power.

Warning its cadres against becoming complacent, the politburo says that India is getting assistance from America and that it should learn from the failure of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka.

It says the LTTE's failure to understand the changing tactics of the security forces eventually led to their defeat.

Maoists argue that big industrial houses, like India's Tata Group, are helped by the government in their attempts to wrest control of mines in eastern India.

The insurgents are calling upon the tribal population to participate in an armed struggle.

Maoist fighters are urged to tell local people that the Singh government wants to subdue them, destroy their culture and loot resources.

"This time the fight will be more long drawn and more bitter than the one against the British imperialist armies," the document says.

Bomb-making

Speaking at recent meetings on internal security India's Home Minister P Chidambaram said Maoists had improved their military and operational tactics.

Besides targeting the police, alleged police informers and so-called class enemies, the rebels are "laying greater emphasis on attacking economic and development infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, power and telecommunication networks," he said.

He also warned that the Maoists were making and deploying increasingly sophisticated bombs.

A senior official told the BBC that Mr Chidambaram has been trying to impress upon state governments that they should not take the threat posed by Maoists lightly.

He wants state governments to simplify procedures and increase the recruitment of security forces and use federal funds to buy weapons.

But, as a recent review by the home ministry showed, most states have been slow in understanding the seriousness of the situation.



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