Monday, December 19, 2005

Naxals admit to links with LTTE, Nepal Maoists by Anand Mohan Sahay

Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has, for the first time, admitted that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had provided them military training over one and half decades ago.

The outfit, however, claimed that their guerillas did not have tactical relations with the LTTE any more.

The sensational disclosure was made by Azad, a spokesman of the naxal outfit's central committee, while addressing mediapersons at a remote village in Bihar's Supaul district bordering Nepal, on Wednesday.

"The Maoists learnt new warfare tactics from the on-the-run and purged LTTE military commanders in 1986-87," he said, adding, "LTTE's commanders gave them training of mine production and its laying techniques."

Till date it was only a speculation that Maoist guerillas had been trained by the LTTE in Bihar's districts bordering Nepal.

While denying any link with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, Azad admitted that the naxals enjoyed "good and close relations" with the Nepalese Maoist rebels.

A few months ago, Bihar had denied a report that Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers were providing military training to Nepal's Maoist insurgents in a northern district of the state bordering Nepal.

The state administration responded in the wake of a report in an edition of a Washington-based internet magazine - South Asia Tribune - that said the Lankan rebels were teaching Nepalese outlaws to form human bomb squads for suicide missions.

The report claimed that the LTTE was running training camps in Narkatiaganj and Ghorasahan in Bihar near the Nepal border.

Last month about 1,000 Maoist guerillas made a daring assault on the Jehanabad jail in Bihar, resulting in the escape of about 400 prisoners of whom 134 are still missing.

After the incident, Bihar police along with the Central Paramilitary Forces and the National Security Guards have launched massive combing operations across the state.

A senior police official said the joint operation had not achieved any breakthrough in flushing out the Maoists who engineered the jailbreak.

In June this year, more than 300 naxalites, including dozens of women, had attacked the Madhuban bazaar in East Champaran after which, the state government urged the centre to take immediate steps to stop Maoist infiltration from Nepal.

The state also asked New Delhi to beef up security along the 735 km stretch of the India-Nepal border in Bihar's northern districts.