February 21, 2020
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"Laloo Only Hunts Naxals"

In the late '60s and early '70s, Vinod Mishra was the prime architect of the extreme Left movement in Bihar. His organisational skills—honed in the underground in the '70s and '80s—led to the biggest mobilisation of landless peasants in the state, pa

"Laloo Only Hunts Naxals"
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How would you choose to describe the Ranvir Sena?

They are private landlord armies, particularly belonging to the Bhumihar community. Of late, due to their internal contradictions, they are running into trouble. They began by targeting the poor, now they have started hitting their own community. I constantly receive tipoffs from Bhumihar families about the movement of Ranvir Sena members.

They say the landlord armies are a reaction to the red terror.

That's the typical rationale of the rural rich. Can you name one instance where the CPI(ML) Liberation has indulged in tactics such as those witnessed in Haibuspur? Some Musahars in the village are our sympathisers, but not the ones who were killed by the Ranvir Sena. I also have the option of getting those accused in the carnage gunned down in a retaliatory move. But that is not our way. Their people are free to move about.

Who supports private armies?

The government, who else? Laloo Yadav's government is supposed to be pro-poor. Yet, when the chief minister makes his address to the state assembly, there's no mention of Ranvir Sena and other private armies. Instead, the emphasis is on steps taken to counter the Naxalites and the number of them killed. What's the difference between this government and previous ones?

What is your equation with other Left outfits in the state?

They have their own areas of influence. The Maoist Communist Centre is based largely in central-south Bihar—Palamau, Chatra, Garhwa and Gaya. They inhabit hilly terrain, inspired by Chinese tactics. We operate in the plains, in Bhojpur, Patna and Jehanabad, while Party Unity is centred largely around Jehanabad.

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