ASIAN AGE, London edition.By Sanjay Basak
New Delhi June 10: Maoist rebels, who are now observing "Jan Pituri Saptah (revolutionary week)" in Chhattisgarh (in tribal belt in central India), have blown up power lines and disrupted communication links, targeting industries and power stations in the Abhujmar and Bastar regions and plunging much of the state into darkness. A senior state police officer, in a telephonic conversation with this newspaper, said that the Maoists, who had declared a "parallel government" some time back, were now trying to move from the jungles to urban areas. The blast at Durg on June 8, in which three CRPF jawans were killed, and the attack on the Bishrampur police station "are clear signals that they are pushing towards urban areas," he said. Comrade Sonu, a top Maoist central committee member, confirmed this. "If we fail to build our movement in the cities, the revolution will remain a dream," he told this newspaper. The police officer also said there were intelligence inputs that the Maoists were trying to teach Hindi to their Gondi-speaking "red cadres" from south Bastar as it was getting difficult for them to interact with Maoist leaders from Andhra Pradesh. The top leadership of the CPI (Maoist) is run by Andhra cadres. Chhattisgarhs DGP Vishwa Ranjan told this newspaper that due to the Maoist-imposed blackout, the administration had arranged to supply at least six hours of electricity to affected areas. "We have moved 100 huge generators to give relief to people." He also claimed adequate forces had been deployed to provide security to possible targets, including towers and transmission lines. "The Maoists are hitting soft targets," he said. The DGP said the state police was fully capable of handling the situation, and did not need help from the Centre. The so-called "soft targets" attacked by the Maoists included the Essar Steel Plant at Kirandul in Bastar. The Maoists had set the plant and 20 trucks inside on fire. Last year, while observing the "Jan Pituri" week, the Maoists had plunged the entire Bastar region into darkness for almost a fortnight. A police officer in Kanker district pointed out that so far not a single political leader in Chhattisgarh had issued any statement condemning the "Jan Pituri" week, which ends on Friday. A state government official based in New Delhi said, however, that since the "government is at war with the Maoists, there is no point issuing statements on their activities."