Naxal cadres (file)
The Naxal movement of Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh has now found fresh breeding ground in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from where it had once been completely uprooted. And this has becoming a matter of grave concern for the internal security of the country.
After a fierce gun battle, in the dense jungles along the Western ghats in Theni district five hard core Naxalites were nabbed by the Special Task force of the Tamil Nadu police on Friday (December 21).
Over the past six months, over 15 dreaded Naxals - all trying to spread their agenda in the border areas - have been arrested.
And now Tamil Nadu is finally waking up to the harsh reality: that it has become a haven for these dreaded extremists. This has been admitted by Chief Minister Karunanidhi for the very first time.
"The intrusion is upto Theni... So far, we have managed and they had been prevented from infiltrating further. When compared to other states, the infiltration is very less in Tamil Nadu," said Karunanidhi.
The Naxal tentacles have not just stopped with Tamil Nadu; in neighbouring Kerala, two members of the People's War Group of Andhra were arrested only a few days ago trying to move weapons and set up 'DALAMS' - or cells.
These incidents are a clear indication that Left-wing extremism. which was thought to be non-existent in the southern most states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala - is nowfast gaining ground.
This confirmation has come from none other than the Prime Minister himself. PM Manmohan Singh spoke yesterday at the Internal Security meeting of chief ministers, where he said: "Naxals have been achieving some degree of success in enlarging their areas of militancy... Not a day passes without an incident of the Left-wing extremism taking place somewhere or the other."
Clearly, the Naxal menace needs to be treated as seriously as terrorist activity.
On paper the Union government has called for "improved intelligence gathering" and better coordination between the Centre and states - but a situation check on the ground proves that the southern states are far from controlling Left-wing extremism.
The Naxal movement of Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh has now found fresh breeding ground in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from where it had once been completely uprooted. And this is becoming a matter of grave concern for the internal security of the country.
(By Durga Nandini)