Maoists’ campus connection
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The arrest of Abhishek Mukherjee, an alleged Maoist leader who was once presumed dead, has re-ignited a debate on how deep a link exists between Maoists and students and teachers of various institutes, particularly Jadavpur University where Abhishek studied.
Police have frequently described Jadavpur University as the nucleus of a group of students, many of whom are in the ranks of the CPI-Maoist and now under arrest. Abhishek is said to have told police about students and professors who became members of the CPI-Maoist and who fund Maoist activities inside the university. "He has named two senior professors with whom he used to work as secretary of the Maoists' city committee. The professors used to publish Maoist documents for students and for distribution among people," said a senior official of the Special Task Force that arrested Abhishek.
He said Abhishek has revealed that the professors published a magazine, Bandi Barta, helped by a group of students. The magazine is supposedly distributed in select places and among students of two other universities, Presidency and Kalyani. Abhishek has reportedly said also that the Maoists' Kolkata city committee now has 14 members, all but three or four of them former students of Jadavpur University.
The city committee had been dissolved in 2011 after the new government came to power, the ground being that the ruling party might have planted moles. When it was restructured, Abhishek is said to have been made secretary, a post he had held in 2010 too.
The news of his supposed death was apparently a strategy to keep him out of the security radar. In March 2010, an encounter took place in Junglemahal. Kishenji was believed to have been present and sustained a bullet injury too. One piece of information that the police received was that a Jadavpur University student has been part of the squad and he too had sustained injuries. As the police speculated if that student was Abhishek, the Maoists are said to have used it to their advantage. Abhishek's name and photographs were put up in the "martyrs list" of the CPI-Maoists that was published in May 2010 in an information bulletin, meant for circulation inside the party and frontal organisations but which eventually reached the police. "It was a strategic move and the Maoists succeeded, until Abhishek was spotted again in a secret meeting with students at Jadavpur University," said a senior police official.
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