In the last few months, especially after the country opened up after the second covid-19 wave, the urban Naxals and rural Naxals have started gathering pace once again because there is simmering anger among many areas where people have faced hardships during the lockdown and covid-19 waves.
The Indian Express has reported that as per sources, Maoists are trying to rebuild and strengthen their urban network across the country. As per the Indian Express report, sources have said, “Following a heavy crackdown on their urban leadership during the Bhima-Koregaon strife in 2018, the Maoists have started rebuilding their urban networks and seven central committee members of the CPI(Maoist) have been deputed to implement the plan.”
After the various reports, the government is alerted and the Home Ministry under Amit Shah is already taking steps to ensure that urban Naxals and rural Naxals do not succeed in their nefarious plan. Recently the Home Minister held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of Naxal affected states and reviewed the security situation. The Home Minister also wants to ensure that development projects get executed in an efficient and uncorrupt manner in Naxal affected areas so that the vulnerable population becomes connected to mainstream.
The Home Ministry officials also discussed intensifying operations against the Naxals, filling up the security vacuum, choking the flow of funds to extremists, and concerted action by the ED, the NIA, and the state police were discussed threadbare in the meeting.
Before this, the government made continuous efforts to choke the source of funds of urban Naxals. In 2021 alone, the Ministry of Home Affairs has cracked down on 9 NGOs. These NGOs had a shoddy record of foreign funds in their accounts. 6 out of these 9 NGOs have been exposed during the last 45 days.
The prominent NGOs in the list include Markazul Ighasathil Kairiyathil Hindiyya, a big Kerala-based NGO linked to influential Sunni leader Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmed, their funding was curbed on the charges of “misutilisation” of funds, misrepresentation of facts, and non-filing of annual FCRA returns in 2019-20. The other NGOs on the list include Odisha-based People’s Organisation of Empowerment of Tribals and Heavenly Grace Ministries and Madurai-based Russ Foundation. One of the directors of Russ Foundation was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 10-year old inmate in 2019. Al Hasan Educational and Welfare Organisation had its FCRA revoked due to its involvement in the forced religious conversion.
The biggest curb on foreign NGOs in 2021 has come off as the suspension of the FCRA registration of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI) an NGO led by a commentator on northeast Sanjoy Hazarika in June this year. This is the most high-profile NGO of India with people like Siddhartha Vardarajan, co-founder of The Wire, Mrinal Pande, ex Editor of Hindustan Times, Salil Tripathi, and prominent left-liberal people connected to it.
Before Modi Government came to the fore in 2014, NGOs were virtually running scot-free with no regulations regarding their funding, day-to-day activities, and in effect net-zero oversight over them. The foreign funds were used to provide arms to Naxals, Maoists, and other anti-national violent groups. These NGOs had helped anti-nationals in creating a soft corner in the minds of Indians by hiring high-profile people from Lutyens media. These people acted as an ideological mouthpiece for Naxals, Maoists, conversion rackets, and Evangelicals.
The issue of Maoist radicalism is far from over. Under the leadership of Amit Shah, the government has adopted a two-pronged strategy to end the menace of Naxalism from India with the first being development of affected areas to ensure that the vulnerable population connects to mainstream and the second being beefing up security measures to end urban and rural Naxals – basically a carrot and stick approach. By the end of this term of the Modi government, India may get liberated from Naxalism.