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Maoist party speaks of `impending ban'

Special Correspondent

Cites inclusion in U.S. terror list as indicator

HYDERABAD: The inclusion of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the list of terrorist organisations by the United States State Department is indicative of an "impending ban" on the naxalite party all over India, the Maoist party spokesman said here on Wednesday.

In a two-page statement faxed to newspapers, the spokesman, Prashanth, said that with the U.S. declaring the CPI (Maoist) a terrorist organisation, New Delhi was bound to initiate steps to proscribe it.

The U.S. declaration was the result of a "well-planned conspiracy" by Washington and New Delhi, he alleged.

"This is an ominous reminder of the shape of things to come under the United Progressive Alliance Government led by the Congress ... " Mr. Prashanth said. It was only a matter of time before his party was banned.

`Interference'

In Andhra Pradesh, the Rajasekhara Reddy Government had also hinted at a re-imposition of the ban. The State Government was desperately trying to build some "reasons" or "grounds" to justify such a ban, he said.

He said the U.S. decision was "interference in the internal affairs of India."

"However, it will be a great honour for anyone to be declared a terrorist by the Bush administration," he said. It only showed that the Indian revolutionary party was on the correct track since the expression "terrorist" would only mean "anti-imperialist" for the U.S.

In its Annual Terrorism Report issued on April 27, the State Department named 40 organisations as `Designated Foreign Terrorist Organisations' and 40 more as `Other selected Terrorist Organisations.' The CPI (Maoist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) are included in the second category.

The U.S. statement on the CPI (Maoist) estimated the party's membership to be around 31,000, including hardcore militants and sympathisers in India.

Low intensity insurgency

The People's War (PW) before its merger with the Maoists Communist Centre of India (MCCI) conducted a low-intensity insurgency that included attempted political assassination, theft of weapons from police stations, abduction of police officers, assaulting civilians, extorting money from construction firms and vandalising property of multi-national corporations.

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