Monday 5 October 2009

India - forgotten terrorism

We are used to hearing about Islamic terrorism in India, but another bloody insurgency has attracted relatively little attention. Over the last 20 years, Maoist rebels have fought a campaign in which more than 6,000 people have been killed.

The Maoists want to establish their own state and are active across large parts of central and eastern India. In their latest attack, they killed 16 people at a village in Bihar. A survivor, whose son died, said the assailants tied up the victims – labourers and poor farmers - then shot them. India’s Prime Minister has said the Maoists are now the most serious security problem facing the country.

Last month, one of their leaders, Kobad Ghandy, was arrested in Delhi. From a prosperous background, he was educated at one of India’s most exclusive schools and then trained as an accountant in London. According to friends, it was there that he became radicalised, denouncing India as "semi-feudal, semi-colonial".

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