Naxalism
International Connections  
The Indian Maoists have been emboldened by the recent success of their Nepalese counterparts, who have emerged as a legitimate power center after a decade of protracted people’s war. The effects are already visible in Bihar, where despite complex security arrangement by the state police, partial success of a bandh in October 2006, by the indicated that they are capable enough to strike a crippling blow to the administration. The 24-hour bandh was called by the CPI-M in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh from Oct. 29, 2006-midnight to Oct. 30, 2006-midnight.
Bihar is a fertile ground for the breeding of Naxalites due to poor governance, complex social structure, chronic poverty and formation of private armies. The Naxalites under the banner of the MCC (Maoist Communist Centre) and PW (People’s War) are currently active in over 33 of Bihar’s 38 districts. In addition, Nepalese Maoists make their presence felt in the State taking advantage of the 700 kilometers of porus border between the two neighbouring countries. Despite efforts by the security personnel manning the border, it is not possible to effectively check the movements of the Nepalese Maoists because of forests and inhospitable terrain that account for much of the border area. Northern Bihar districts are facing a spurt in Maoist violence ever since the Maoists have become active in Nepal.
As India struggles to come to terms with a difficult internal security situation in the wake of continuing Maoist attacks, the ‘United Front’ effort by the Asian Maoist outfits in general and linkages between the Nepalese Maoists and its Indian counterparts in particular are a grave cause of concern for India. In addition, internal security is in constant threat due to ideological, strategic and organisational linkages between the CPI-Maoist and the CPN-Maoist.
The ripples of any development in the Maoist movement in Nepal are felt in India as well. A document condemning the moderate approach and stating its disadvantages to the furthering of the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh was circulated among the Indian cadres. In a general consensus it was felt that the party should have followed the ‘militant’ line as practised by the Maoists in Nepal and the LTTE in Sri Lanka.
A document of the CPI (Maoist) titled "New Challenges: Our Perspectives", meant for internal circulation, emphasised the need for an evaluation of the developments of events on the Indian front, and, then redefine its strategies and field tactics accordingly. The Indian Maoists are closely following the chain of events in Nepal and monitoring the actions the actions of their Nepalese counterparts. The Maoist victory in Nepal along with the modernization of its weaponry by procuring new and sophisticated weapons has strengthened the morale of the Indian rebels and encouraged them to accelerate their insurgent activities in India.
While the Maoists in India are ready to start a United Front with the support of its South Asian counter parts, the state responses to the menace is incoherent and laid-back. Even the formation of Naxalite Coordination Committee and Task Force comprising officers of the nine Naxal-affected states have failed to generate a coordinated effort among the administration of the Naxal effected states. Apart from the so-called multi-pronged action against the Maoists, the authorities are reluctant to take further steps to check external influence over the Naxals.
Many Indian insurgent groups, most notably the United Liberation Front of Assam and the CPI –M lend a helping hand to the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN). Expatriate Nepalese living in India provide funds and support for the CPN.
The first signs of contact between the Maoists of the neighboring countries was reportedly registered during 1989-1990, when the two groups started collaborating in order to expand their area of influence. Subsequently, they began the process of building up what is now known as the Revolutionary Corridor extending from Nepal across six Indian States, including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. This area came to be called the Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ). The establishment of the CRZ provided a wider platform to the Nepalese and Indian left-wing extremist organizations to strengthen their base of operations in the two countries.
The more radical groups in South Asia, including both the PWG and the Nepalese Maoists, are members of the ‘Revolutionary Internationalist Movement’ (RIM). In July 2001, about 10 extreme Left Wing (Maoist) groups in South Asia formed the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organization of South Asia (CCOMPOSA), in which the Nepalese Maoists, Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), PWG, Purbo Banglar Movement (Bangladesh), Communist Party of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and other Indian left-wing extremist parties became members.
The appearance of graffiti in remote villages in Naxalite strongholds, in Andhra Pradesh, upholding CCOMPOSA, indicates the spread of the idea of a common front of left-wing extremist groups in South Asia. The Central Committee of Maoists passed a resolution in January 2002 stating its intentions of working together with the PWG and the MCC in fighting the ban imposed on the latter two organisations in India, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002. In addition, latest reports indicate the setting up of an Indo-Nepal Border Region Committee consisting of the Maoists and the PWG to coordinate insurgent activities in North Bihar and along the border region.
For quite some time, the Maoists have also been working closely with the MCC for unification, consolidation and expansion of the Maoist movement in India and across South Asia. A careful examination of expansion of Naxalite activity in Bihar in the last two years would reveal the extent of support lent by the Nepali Maoists and an effort by the Nepalese insurgents to influence Maoist activities stretching across Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Bihar.
The Bihar-Nepal border is easily permeable. Bihar has eight districts and 54 police stations situated on the border. In the recent past, the state police have arrested a number of Nepalese Maoists in the border districts of West and East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar and Madhubani. If reports are to be believed, the Nepalese have made full use of the general breakdown of law and order in the region to set up bases at several points along the border. Reports indicate the existence of training camps in the forests of Bagha in the West Champaran district. These forests and the accompanying harsh terrain makes it difficult to control insurgent activities in the area, which has emerged as a safe haven for the Nepalese insurgents.
The left-wing extremist group, the Communist Party of India––Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) Janashakthi, which has a marginal presence at least in six Indian States, but is very active in isolated and limited number of pockets in Andhra Pradesh, has expressed support to the Nepalese Maoists. It is a co-signatory, along with 41 other left-wing extremist groups ranging from South America to South East Asia, to a resolution that ‘condemns and opposes the malpractice of the fascist state of Nepal’ and demands ‘life security’ for imprisoned Maoist personnel, leaders and sympathisers.
The growing influence of Nepalese Maoists in other parts of India was unearthed after four of its personnel were arrested in West Bengal in February 2003. The arrested Maoists confessed during interrogation of their plan to use West Bengal as a corridor between their areas of domination in India and Nepal. Darjeeling and Siliguri would act as the important transit routes.
The Nepali residents in India, forming a strong population of nearly eight million, (particularly in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Siliguri, Shillong, Dehradun, Himachal Pradesh and Gorakpur-Lucknow belts) have established a countrywide organization called the Akhil Bharatiya Nepal Ekta Samaj (ABNES). The Government of India later banned the organization under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in July 2002. ABNES was registered with the stated objective of securing unity among immigrant Nepalese residing in India and working for their welfare. However, it gradually became involved in subversive activities and began to function as a front for the Maoist insurgents of Nepal.
There is also some reportage about the Nepalese Maoists’ links with insurgent groups active in India’s Northeast like United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), Gurkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and Gurkha Liberation Organisation (GLO).
Though the exact nature of the relationship is so far unknown, the Maoists are also reported to have some links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka. However, it is suspected that the Maoists have received arms training from LTTE operatives in the past and this practice may be continuing. Links between these two may have been facilitated through the PWG, which has a record of co-operation with the LTTE in arms procurement and training.