Kalpetta: It has been years since Wayanad was transformed into a major campsite of Maoists who work in three south Indian states. The central intelligence agencies had already reported that a 40-member group of Maoists including its national leaders had camped in the border regions of the forests in the district.
The Maoists presence in Wayanad district was confirmed in 2013. They started posing a threat to the police since the very next year. The major Maoist camps are situated in forests which share the borders of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur and Wayanad districts.
Tri-junction, which is the border of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states, is another major corridor. The intelligence agencies had noted that Maoists corridors similar to Dandakaranya Red Corridor model exist in these states. Following this, the police of all three states had intensified search in border villages.
After central committee member Kuppu Devaraj was murdered in Nilambur encounter, Karnataka native B G Krishnamurthy has been heading Western Ghats special zonal committee of the CPI Maoist. It is believed that he controls the organisation focusing on border areas of Wayanad.
Along with Krishnamurthy, central committee member Sanjay Dipak Rao, People’s Liberation Army in-charge Vikram Gowda, Manivasakam, C P Moideen, Sundari, Kavitha and other prominent leaders are believed to work in different areas including the tri-junction. Though Maoists work as different sections, the leaders of each section take turns to visit each section, police said.
Armed Maoist groups had arrived at various places in Wayanad, pasted posters and distributed brochures. Similar incidents were reported in Kannur also. They regularly visit hillside regions of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts and collect food items and money in addition to the political campaigning activities.
The armed section of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army have more members from Karnataka. Police suspect that Maoists get local support in Wayanad. The Maoists are trying to influence labourers and tribal people and make them join their team.