Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meanwhile, Trouble in West Bengal, India (with video)

Trouble in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal continues. According to the Press Trust of India today, "The West Bengal government is considering banning the CPI (Maoists) after the Centre's suggestion to the state government in this regard following the Naxal violence in Lalgarh." Maoists are left-wing extremists (radical communists). In West Bengal, the local Maoists are also called "Naxalites." Several days ago, according to Naxalwatch, "Groups of Left-wing extremists, which have taken control over almost 50 villages in Lalgarh, consist not only of cadres operating in West Bengal but also from neighbouring Jharkhand and Orissa, Central security agency sources said." A report in The Economist explains that "Naxalites" get their name from "the district of Naxalbari in West Bengal where they staged an uprising in 1967, they are these days almost a nationwide force. Greeted by China's People's Daily at the height of the Cultural Revolution as “a peal of spring thunder”, they were almost wiped out in the 1970s, as the Indian government repressed them, and Maoism went out of fashion, even in its homeland. In India they splintered into various armed factions, of which the biggest were the People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre. These merged and formed the CPI (Maoist) party in September 2004. P.V. Ramana, of the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi, estimates the Naxalites now have 9,000-10,000 armed fighters, with access to about 6,500 firearms. There are perhaps a further 40,000 full-time cadres." (Full Article, August 17, 2006) RELATED: Anarchy in West Bengal as Maoists capture Lalgarh - NDTV Maoists defy the law in West Bengal, go on rampage - NDTV 11 killed, 11 injured in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh - (June 20, 2009) Indian Troops Enter Maoist Stronghold - Voice of America (June 20, 2009) False start - In office but not yet in power - (June 18, 2009) Naxalites destroy Koraput nursery - The Statesman (June 16, 2009) Al Jazeera English - India Elections - Q&A: The Naxalites of India Official Site of Government of West Bengal, India West Bengal, West Bengal Map, West Bengal India
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