Maoism in Manipur

The Kanglapak Communist Party (KCP) has been carrying on a bloody struggle for a sovereign Manipur since the 1980s. It is reported that a faction of the party has recently adopted the Maoist ideology to conduct an offensive on the same lines as the rebels in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal. The section which was known as the KCP (Maoist) is now called the Maoist Communist Party of Manipur. It has revised its Constitution. The newly floated Maoist party has announced that it aims to carry on a democratic revolution in Manipur to establish a communist society through armed revolutionary war and join hands with other Maoist parties. Security sources have indicated that the party is confined to the Meitei-dominated plains. While most other factions of the KCP unified in 2009, this outfit started maintaining close relations with the banned CPI (Maoists). They are closely associated with the People’s Liberation Army (Manipur) and the now disbanded KCP (Maoists).

The political definition of Maoism in India today creates confusion. It cannot be equated with Maoism in Nepal where Marxists lead a coalition government. They cannot have any interest in secession. The Manipur Maoists are obviously more linked up with other secessionist forces like the ULFA faction under Paresh Barua. What they have in common with Maoists in Jangal Mahal is not at all clear. Maoists in the Red Corridor do not want separation from India which is geographically not possible. The only bond may be the armed modus operandi backed by extortion. P. Chidambaram has spoken of the multiplicity of terrorist outfits in Manipur and the addition of a Maoist one need not raise a scare. If anything, such diversity weakens the forces of terror. The problem lies in a large measure of local sympathy and the rugged terrain.