Left-wing Extremist group
Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist-Janashakti(CPI-ML-Janashakti)
Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Janashakti or CPI (ML) Janashakti was formed on July 30, 1992 with the merger of seven communist groups, the CPI (ML) Resistance, one faction of the Unity Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India (Marxist-Leninist), CPI (ML) Agami Yug, Paila Vasudev Rao's CPI (ML), CPI (ML) [Khokan Majumdar Faction], Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (CCCR) and Communist Revolutionary Group for Unity (CRGU).
CPI (ML) Janashakti’s ideology was based on the ‘mass line’ developed by Chandrapulla Reddy and T. Nagi Reddy and in 1994, it contested in 13 constituencies of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, winning one. A trade union, All India Federation of Trade Unions, and a peasant’s movement were also organised.
However, in 1996, one faction broke away and subsequently formed the CPI-ML Unity Initiative (today part of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Kanu Sanyal faction. Soon the main body split into seven more factions, which included among others the K. Rajanna faction, which settled on a strategy of guerrilla warfare, a tactical line similar to the erstwhile People’s War Group (PWG) and it is this faction that now presents a united front with the PWG (which merged with the Maoist Communist Centre to form the Communist Party of India-Maoist in September 2004). The present day CPI-ML Janashakti (alternatively known as Rajanna faction) is the second most dominant and violent group in Andhra Pradesh (AP) after the CPI-Maoist.
On February 12, 2003, the Janashakti leader, K. Rajanna, had stated that realising the 'limitations' of its struggle and the consequent stagnation that is affecting the party cadre, the Janashakti group is all set to switch over from strategic defence to tactical offensive stage in its operations. Immediately after the February 12 declaration, the CPI-ML Janashakti cadres killed two police personnel in the interior tribal hamlet of Vattimalla village under Konaraopeta mandal (administrative division) of Karimnagar district in AP.
However, the Rajanna faction suffered a major split in December 2003 following the charges of misuse of funds by Rajanna in his capacity as the party's ‘State Secretary’. Senior leaders like M.V. Prasad and Raghavulu fell out with Rajanna on the issue of the misuse of funds and floated their own group with the coastal region as its main base, while the Rajanna faction had to confine itself to the Telangana region. Rajanna chose to have an independent status for his group, while the breakaway faction preferred to be affiliated to the CPI-ML (Ramachandran) group at the national level. On June 18, 2005-morning, five armed extremists of CPI-ML Janashakti belonging to the Rajanna group shot dead M.V. Prasad, spokesman of CPI-ML (Ramachandran), at Mamillagudem toll-gate in the Mothe area of Nalgonda district.
On August 18, 2005, the CPI-ML Pratighatana and CPI-ML (Ramachandran) merged to form the CPI (Marxist Leninist). Another Janashakti faction, the South Regional Provincial Committee, merged with Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Chandra Pulla Reddy) on April 11 2004, thus forming the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti (Chandra Pulla Reddy).
Another breakaway group is the Communist Party of United States of India (CPUSI), also referred to as the Janashakti Veeranna faction.
Although there are no ideological differences between the CPI-Maoist and the CPI-ML Janashakti, their operational areas differ. While the CPI-Maoist has been reported to operate in at least 15 States, the Janashakti has presence in three States - Andhra Pradesh, with a strong presence in the Telengana region and a marginal presence in the States of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Reports in November 2004 indicated that the two outfits are planning to merge, especially since they put up a joint front during the October 2004 peace talks in AP.
Unlike the CPI-Maoist, which is presently outlawed in Andhra Pradesh, the CPI-ML Janashakti is not banned.
2. Objectives and Strategy
Although it is not known whether the Janashakti maintains a military wing, reports indicate that it has approximately 250 to 300 cadres, used primarily for extortion and collection. Ahead of the 2004 parliamentary elections, the CPI-ML Janashakti had signed a joint boycott declaration together with the PWG and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). Further, prior to the AP peace talks, the erstwhile PWG leaders, Ramakrishna, Sudhakar and Ganesh, and the Janashakti representatives, Amar and Riyaz, stated on October 12 in Hyderabad that “we believe that the overthrowing process is not possible by bringing down one ruling clique and giving power to another through elections which are a sham. We think protracted armed struggle is the only route that can ultimately raise the consciousness of the masses and put the real State power in their hands.”
Some of Janashakti’s senior leaders in Andhra Pradesh have been identified as ‘state secretary’ Jagadish who replaced Rajanna, ‘State executive member’ Sagar, ‘state committee secretary’ Amar, ‘State committee’ members E. Laxmirajam alias Sagar and Gaddam Deva Dasu. One of the ‘state committee’ members Riyaz Khan, who had participated in the 2004 AP peace talks, was shot dead by the police on July 1, 2005, along with a ‘district committee’ member Srisailam alias Vijay in the Karimnagar district.