NAGPUR: The death of a young student leader-turned-Naxal commander in an encounter with police last year has been the cause of a fresh propaganda war between the Naxalite leaders and their opponents. The top echelons of banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) have hailed the death of Raja Thakur, alias Comrade Krishna (27), as supreme sacrifice by a young visionary in the red rebels’ cause. On the other hand, activists opposed to Naxalite ideology have slammed the efforts of CPI (Maoist) for trapping youngsters in their lost cause of armed revolution. Both CPI (Maoist) and Bhoomkal Sangathan, have re-launched a fresh propaganda war by issuing pamphlets.
An earlier pamphlet, issued by Maharashtra state committee secretary Comrade Sahyadri during recently concluded ‘Martyrs’ week’, had underlined the unique blend of bravery and intellectualism in Krishna who was killed along with colleague Comrade Sonu on August 12 last year in Khobramenda jungle in a police encounter. Arvind Sovani and Datta Shirke, both office bearers of Bhoomkal Sangathan, have blamed Naxals for roping in youngsters through front organizations in armed movement foiling their academic career. Intelligence agencies view Naxals’ romanticizing of Krishna’s sacrifice during the Naxal’s martyr week, observed between July 27 and August 3, as an effective strategy to encourage urban youngsters to join the movement or support it.
Krishna, a former student of Rajura’s Shivaji College, was section deputy commander of Platoon 56 while Sonu held the same rank for Platoon 55. The two, along with three others, were returning from Nadekal village to their den when security forces ambushed them. The Naxals claimed that police eliminated the duo when they could have been arrested. The rebels have extolled the qualities of Krishna in the movement citing that he carried out effective propaganda against displacement and industrialization whenever required in the remote areas and also fought bravely when faced with challenge from police.
The social activists too have upped their propaganda against the rebels warning youngsters to be wary of attempts to recruiting them through urban front organizations and that they would be deployed in the guerrilla zones to participate in the armed revolution. Citing claims of Naxals that Comrade Krishna was a member of ‘Krantikari Vidhyarthi Sanghatna’ or revolutionary student organization, activists claimed the rebels misguided the former student into joining the movement that claimed his life.