Poverty forces youngsters to join Naxal ranks, says Maoist commander

      A Maoist commander has said that poverty is forcing the poor to turn to become naxalites. Paramjit, a platoon commander of Maoists in Bihar, said until the Indian Government becomes pro-poor they would continue their fight against the state. He said utter poverty and illiteracy forced the Maoists to take up arms. "We never used to get bread, cloth and house. We had no money for treatment. There is no education for the poor," said Paramjit. Paramjit claimed that the Maoists are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers and in turn the rural people give their support to the cause of rebels. "We like the locals. They are everything for us," added Paramjit. Paramjit further said that rebels who have been denied their basic rights are taking them by force. He accused the Indian security forces for carrying atrocities against the 'poor' and 'helpless' people. "The three Indian forces, including Air force, Navy and the Army... They don't respect the poor but only the rich. Though they say India is free and the army is pro-poor. But it's a mirage. If they were pro-poor why don't they come to the poor and talk to them and take care of them. Only ten per cent of the population is rich and capitalist. Security forces guard rich and big people but beat poor people," said Paramjit. Bihar is one of the five states grappled with Maoists who force poor people to join their ranks and train them in carrying out hit-and-run attacks. They even try to carry it forward as a family tradition by teaching their children the same tactics.

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