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New Delhi: The government has identified 128 organizations across the country as so-called front organizations operating on behalf of the Communist Party of India-Maoist that’s spearheading the Naxal insurgent movement in India.

According to an internal report prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), portions of which Mint has reviewed, these entities are present in 16 states, even relatively unaffected ones—indicating the spread and latent threat of the insurgency. The Maoist rebellion is believed to have affected 82 of India’s more than 650 districts. These bodies are active even in states such as Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh (UP) that have seen little or no Naxal-related violence, said a home ministry official, declining to be identified. The report has identified two such organizations each in these states.

“During the recent relief operations in flood-hit regions of Uttarakhand, we noticed these front organizations were active. This was surprising because the state has no previous association with the Naxal movement," the official said. In June, several hill districts of Uttarakhand were flooded following heavy rainfall, and 6,000-10,000 people are believed to have perished.

States that haven’t traditionally suffered Naxal-linked violence but figure in the report are Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.

Overall, these organizations are active in Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand and Kerala, according to the report. The portions of the report Mint has seen contain the names of all these entities.

Such organizations for the CPI-Maoist have been visible in Uttarakhand and parts of UP for the past eight-nine years, said Ajai Sahni, executive director at New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management.

“They (the Maoists) have had a significant number of sympathizers in these states, but the very fact that they have been around for such time and have not had any mass mobilization means they have not been very successful in these areas," he said. “In case of Uttarakhand, several cultural factors and the fact that practically every family sends people to the armed forces would make it difficult for them to operate there."

On 22 August last year, former junior home minister Jitendra Singh said in Rajya Sabha that several organizations sympathetic to the Naxal movement had staged protests during the labour unrest at the Manesar plant of carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

“Subsequent to the incident (violence at Maruti Manesar plant), a number of front organizations of the banned CPI-Maoists, as well as bodies sympathetic to the outfit such as the Mehnatkash Mazdoor Morcha, Democratic Students’ Union, People’s Democratic Front of India and the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, have organized demonstrations supporting the cause of the workers of the Maruti factory," a Press Trust of India report cited the minister as saying.

Singh had, however, said there was no input to suggest the violent incidents at the plant were initiated by these organizations. In November, the chief secretary of Haryana said there was no Maoist involvement in the incident at the Maruti plant.

The IB report lists 17 such organizations operating in Jharkhand, 13 in Andhra Pradesh, 12 in Karnataka, 10 each in Bihar and Odisha, nine each in Delhi, Maharashtra and Bengal, eight in Haryana, six in Chhattisgarh, four each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and three in Gujarat. The home ministry official quoted earlier said these bodies had been linked to CPI-Maoist by verifiable associations of their cadres with known Naxal operatives. “There are typically two major ways in which some of these linkages have been established—by monitoring call records or movements of mobile phones, or by money transfer trails that have been established," the official said. The bodies include student unions, youth organizations, lawyers’ groups, peasant and workers associations, women’s organizations and tribal bodies.

Some of these such as the Andhra Pradesh Revolutionary Writers Association have been banned by state governments.

Sahni disputes the government’s claim that it has found verifiable money trails linking the organizations to the Naxal movement. “If the government has verifiable trails, why does it not go and arrest these people? Most of their money comes not from these fringe areas but from the core military areas that they control," he said. “In fact, some of these organizations are NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that are raising legitimate issues, say on behalf of labourers and slum-dwellers and giving them legal aid. So, it is very difficult for the government to control them."

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