Strength of Maoists Around 8,500: Govt

New Delhi

The government today said the cadre strength of the Maoists is around 8,500 and they have forged tactical understandings with some insurgent groups in the Northeast for procuring arms and ammunition.

"As per available reports, the estimated armed cadre strength of the Left Wing Extremist groups is around 8,500. However, their support base is in larger number," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The minister said the Naxals were using sophisticated weapons like LMG, AK-47 etc. For attacks on security forces and notwithstanding some setbacks in recent times, the CPI(Maoist) retains its core armed strength and the capacity to launch spectacular attacks.

He said LWE groups recruit a large number of youth every year and per reports available, in 2013, these groups recruited around 433 cadres from the LWE affected states.

Rijiju said the banned CPI(Maoist) is trying to establish organisational bases in the Northeast with a view to forge relations with other insurgent groups to meet its military requirements and the Central government has alerted the state governments concerned.

"The CPI(Maoist) has developed close fraternal ties with Northeast insurgent groups like the Revolutionary People's Front, People's Liberation Army of Manipur, NSCN(IM) and ULFA. The outfit also forged tactical understanding with the RPF, PLA and NSCN(IM) for procuring arms and ammunition and imparting military, communication training to its cadres," he said.

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