The left wing terrorism in India began sometime in the late 1960s, and since then it has been the single largest threat to the sovereignty and internal security of India. Apart from getting support from the enemies of the state outside India, the left wing terrorists also derive “intellectual” support from myriad of activists, who paint them as some wronged poor people.
One of the biggest narratives that has been built around the Maoists for example is how it is fueled by a poor tribal, who exasperated by the atrocities of the Indian state, decides to pick up arms against it. This narrative has many a times been used by the Maoist apologists or possibly even by their silent sympathizers to gloss over the barbaric atrocities committed by the group.
Now though, the surrender of a top Maoist commander and his subsequent statements have threatened to puncture this narrative.
Kundan Pahan was a dreaded Maoist who was wanted in over 125 cases including the murders of a DSP, inspector and a MLA. He had also reportedly looted Rs 5.5 crores from a bank vehicle. He surrendered before the Jharkhand police in Ranchi on Sunday under the state government’s Nai Disha policy.
According to this policy, the surrendered Maoists receive the total reward money which was declared on their head. In Pahan’s case it was Rs 15 lakh. The Maoists are also housed in open jails and are allowed contact with their families. This though doesn’t mean that the cases against them are withdrawn. They still face trial possibly in an expedited manner.
So coming back to what punctured the narrative; post his surrender, Pahan has been giving interviews to various media-persons and in one such interview spoke about why he became a Maoist.
His answer was as far cry from the “poor exploited tribal” line. According to reports, Pahan became a Maoist in the year 1998 when he was just 17. It was reported that in the Badigara village, his family used to own a whopping 2700 acres of land. Yes, 2700 acres of land!
As it turned out 1350 acres out of the total land was illegally grabbed by his uncle. In order to get it back, Pahan and his brothers decided to take up arms. It was reported that in 1996, a high ranking Naxalite leader visited his village. He and his family were influenced by his ideology and were also given the assurance that if he joined the movement, he would get his land back and that’s exactly what happened.
Clearly going by the report, Kundan was neither poor nor exploited by the state. He just decided to join the movement in order to solve his family feud and for his personal gains.
This even furthers the point that the Maoist movement in India is largely nothing but means for criminals to carry out their activities like extortion, murder and kidnapping.
Kundan Pahan was reportedly the youngest of 5 brothers. His two other brothers named Dimba and Shayam also became Naxalites and are currently lodged in jails. Kundan has now also been sent to a jail in a 2014 matter.
After his surrender, police are now trying to recover his pen drive which reportedly contains information about all his contacts, his assets, his bio-data, and the information about all the crimes he perpetrated.
According to certain reports, Kundan has already started making explosive revelations about his time as a Maoist. He has reportedly claimed that the current Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-center) had taken training in Guerrilla warfare alongside him at Jhumra Hills near Bokaro in the year 2000. He also claimed that the Maoists in Nepal and Jharkhand have a strong connection.