|How did the Maoists operating from the hills and dense forests of Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh access the minutes of two crucial and secret meetings last year—one held by the prime minister at his residence and the other chaired by the home secretary at North Block? Both were focused on tackling the Maoist problem. The first was attended by chief ministers of Naxal-affected states and by senior intelligence and security officials. The second, which involved members of the Joint Operations Command of the security forces, dealt with strategy and deployment of forces.
The shocking truth that the Maoists had gained access to the minutes came to light after intelligence officials stumbled on an eight-page annual report (October 2005-06) of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) during a recent operation. An explosive part of its contents, yet to be revealed to the media, relates to the outfit's precise and detailed knowledge about what was discussed in the two closed-door and high-profile meetings.
Here is what the annual report has to say about the April 2006 meeting at 7, Race Course Road chaired by PM Manmohan Singh: "It is clear from the minutes of the April 13 meeting that the government is planning to infiltrate our ranks and use airpower in otherwise difficult and inaccessible terrains. The decisions at the meeting include penetration by intelligence agencies of Maoist leadership, use of heliborne operations against the Naxalites hiding in (the) forests of Kaimur hills, and training of select paramilitary personnel in jungle warfare."
The second meeting on August 29, 2006, was held in the Union home ministry, and was chaired by then secretary V.K. Duggal. It discussed details of deployment of security forces. Several steps to improve intelligence-gathering and sharing it among various states were also deliberated. The meeting also mooted possible ways to curb Maoist operations in border areas and disrupt their coordination across inter-state borders.