Lalgarh: First sign of Maoist-jihadi nexus?

published on July 2, 2009

Shankar Roychowdhury @

June.30 : It was a connection waiting to happen, and merely a matter of time before the switches clicked into place. The arrest and interrogation of Mohammad Omar Madni by the Delhi Police on June 20 gave the first indication of possible strategic convergences between the Maoist cadres in eastern India and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba sleeper cells across the region, including Jharkhand, Bihar and undoubtedly also West Bengal.

A regional Naxalite-jihadi tieup on the pattern of the disparate ethnic militancies in the Northeast would undoubtedly provide a force multiplier to the tremors already rumbling out of Lalgarh in West Bengal, Narayanpatna in Orissa and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh: a disturbing prospect for the state governments and Central agencies which already have their hands full in attempting to contain and push back the inexorably rising tide of Maoist-led adivasi insurgencies in the heartland of the so-called “red corridor”. In addition, there are disconcerting reports of a clandestine Naxalite arms factory and arms dump unearthed right in the heart of Raipur, Chhattisgarh’s capital, which had foreign automatic weapons obtained through yet-undiscovered channels. It is unlikely that the full dimension of the Naxalite organisational networks have been or ever will be fully uncovered, to which must be added the lack of actionable intelligence on similar networks of externally-sponsored jihadis. Has the Maoist movement already acquired jihadi connections? While no firm evidence is available yet either way, it would be a blunder to dismiss such a possibility out of hand.

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