Maoism becoming fashionable, says Narayanan

Friday, January 21, 2011

KOLKATA - Expressing concern over Maoism becoming “fashionable” in universities, West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan Friday said the ideology was apparently gaining an upper hand in the public mind after rights activist Binayak Sen’s conviction.

“Maoism appears to be gaining an upper hand in the minds of the people. After Doctor Binayak Sen’s conviction, the civil society has been very much on the attack, demanding his release,” Narayanan, former national security adviser, said at a programme here.

Sen, 59, was sentenced to life imprisonment Dec 24, 2010, by a Chhattisgarh court on charges of sedition and for his links with the Maoists. The conviction triggered angry reactions from within and outside the country.

“Maoism is also becoming fashionable in universities,” Narayanan said at a conference “Securex 2011- Securing the Future” organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Elaborating on the Maoist menace, the governor said: “Along with terrorism, Maoism poses the biggest threat to internal security. In the last two years, Maoist violence has gone up claiming over a thousand lives.”

“2009-10 has been the worst in terms of violence. The number of those killed by the Maoists topped the 1,000 mark. The casualties suffered by the security forces were the highest ever,” Narayanan said.

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