Thursday, November 15, 2007

BANGALORE:Naxals recruiting slum youths

BANGALORE: From dense forests to the concrete jungle, Naxals have spread their network.

Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) sleuths have found that an organized wing of Naxals has been actively working in Bangalore. It's involved in luring youths to join its new units — forest land committee (FLC) and plain land committee (PLC).

ATC officials say this new strategy has been successful in Bangalore where youths in urban slums have been targeted. Slum-dwellers are being promised the right over the property they live on.

In return, the youths will have to join the movement. This came to light when youths from some slums claimed ownership of the land though it belonged to someone else. It's said that the youths were also promised land documents.

The police have identified four slums in Bangalore at Raja Gopal Nagar and J D Mara, where owners approached the police complaining against slum-dwellers.

"A person's land has been encroached upon by hundreds of huts. This led us to the new trend," said a police officer.

Several huts have come up in Raja Gopal Nagar on private land belonging to a businessman. When he asked the residents to remove the huts, he received threat calls. He was also manhandled by some residents and now, he is scared to go to his own land. Finally, he lodged a police complaint.

Based on the complaint, the police interrogated a few slum-dwellers and unearthed the influence of Naxal groups. "The Naxals have formed FLC and a PLC consisting of three and five members, respectively.

The prime task of PLC members is to provide manpower, logistics, mobilisation of resources and identification of youth to be recruited. The PLC will also provide basic training before they are recruited into FLCs. An FLC member will carry forward the movement deep in the forest," the officer explained.

"Increased police vigil in the four slums has curbed unlawful activities, but we cannot drop our guard. It's been learned that Naxal outfits have made several attempts to involve children from these slums. We need to clamp down on such activities before it extends to other parts of the city," the officer added.

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