Maoists use WhatsApp to lure Maratha youth into joining Naxalite movement

Maoists have now taken to WhatsApp in a bid to communicate with Maratha youths and recruit them to the Naxalite movement. The letter from the insurgent group, which has been circulating on the messaging app, has raised the hackles of the Maharashtra government, with home minister Dilip Walse Patil condemning the digital communique as an instrument to cause unrest in society.

A police investigation into the matter is underway, and initial findings have revealed that the letter from the Maoists surfaced in Kamalapur village, which is about 73 km from Gadchiroli town. A local journalist received the missive on WhatsApp and it was a genuine letter signed by "Sahyadri" aka Milind Telumbde, the secretary of CPI(M), said Sandip Patil, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, Nagpur Range.

The officer stated that the structure of the letter is similar to a number of letters seized during the probe into the Yalgaar Parishad case. The language used in the letter appears to be written by a person who is well read and eloquent in Marathi literature. The letter says join the Badal movement in order to resolve long pending issues of reservations.

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It alleged that the government machinery and elected representatives should be held responsible for the unfulfilled demands of Maratha youth. The letter also charged that the government only works for the Ambanis and Adanis, therefore getting the desired Maratha reservation is not possible. To this end, the Maratha youth should join the Naxalite movement in order to change the present system, stated the letter.

It also mentioned that Maratha youth should adopt guerrilla warfare techniques to get their demands fulfilled.

Speaking with India Today, DIG Patil said, “Maoists are known to promote the urban Naxal movement but the letter in itself is misleading. It states that the poor and helpless belonging to other communities as well as the Naxals are with the Maratha youth in their struggle. It has been a common practice of Maoists to try and lure people who are striving against the state machinery to get their demands fulfilled.”

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Leaders of Maratha Kranti Morcha have also criticized this attempt by the Maoists. Rajendra Kondhare, the general secretary of the Akhil Bhartiya Maratha Mahasangh said Naxals are trying to take advantage of the ongoing unrest within the community.

“Youth from Maratha Community might be at loggerheads with the government but we believe in the democratic system. How can we go with those who don't believe in democratic system and the Indian constitution?” stated Kondhare.

Ravindra Kadam, former Joint Commissioner of Police (Nagpur) who also held the additional charge of anti-Naxal operations, said the use of social media like WhatsApp to reach their target is yet another improvisation by the Naxals, as the source of origin of the communication is difficult to trace. 



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