Thursday, January 3, 2008

Maoists have cops in a web

Hyderabad, Dec. 30: The cyber duel between the police and the Maoists has turned into a cat and mouse game. Every time the police gets a website or a blog closed, Maoist sympathisers set up another one and continue as before. The cyber catch-me-if-you-can hotted up last week after the police got Peoples March, the most popular pro-Maoist site, blocked through Central agencies. Its editor Govindan Kutty was arrested in Kerala.

The website used to carry interviews with top Maoist leaders including Ganapati and spokesperson Azad. It was blocked an year ago but emerged again and was blocked last week. The Special Intelligence Branch says Peoples March and other websites act as communication link between the underground cadres and sympathisers.

The service provider has left a message stating that the action was taken for violation of programme policies. Following this, however, Maoist sympathisers set up The new site carried a warning to the police to release Kutty or he would go on a hunger strike. A senior police official said, "Maoists are using the internet to propagate their ideology. The network is big." The Maoists are under pressure in the AP with the police evicting them from most of their bases. The internet offers a safe way to get the Maoist message across.

"Several Maoist sympathisers from AP are writing columns using pennames," the official said. State police suspects that Maoist leaders who are in hiding in Andhra Pradesh are frequently visiting Kerala, where most of the pro-Maoist bloggers are based. Sources pointed out that Maoist leader Raji Reddy was picked up in Kerala earlier this month. Following this, the Revolutionary People's Front complained to the Kerala government which resulted in the police announcing Raji Reddy's arrest.

Pointing out to the close links, police noted that the AP Revolutionary Writers Association had condemned the arrest of Kutty of Peoples March. Sources in the police said that the bloggers have close links with Maoist sympathisers and this has been detected by sniffer software. Resistance, a Mao-ist blog, was hacked in August, and the role of the law enforcing agencies is suspected. Following this, the Maoist sympathisers created Police has also blocked Naxal revolution.blogspot but expect another blog to replace it. From the police side,, an anti-Maoist website supported by AP-based police, is a popular anti-Naxal blogspot

Deccan Chronicle

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