Phrase 'Urban Naxal' Is Not Used by the Government: Home Ministry

A TMC MP had asked "whether the ministry has defined what constitutes 'urban naxals' and its definition" and who fell under this categor.

New Delhi: In response to a written question by Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Chhetri, the Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy said that “the phrase ‘urban naxals’ is not used by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India”.

However, Reddy also said that the government’s National Policy and Action Plan addresses Left Wing Extremism in all its manifestations, including the urban activities, according to a report in the Deccan Herald.

The TMC MP had asked “whether it is a fact that the Ministry has stated that it will take effective action against ‘urban naxals’ and their facilitators”, “whether the ministry has defined what constitutes ‘urban naxals’ and its definition, who falls under this category of ‘urban naxals'” and “if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefore?”.

While Prime Minister  Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah use the term “urban naxals” to make a point against detractors, the home ministry has said it does not use this “phrase”.

Previously, after the Union home minister Amit Shah had said at an event that “It is time to teach Delhi’s tukde-tukde gang a lesson”, an RTI query was filed by activist Saket Gokhale questioning how the ministry defined this term, whether the government had drawn up any standard operating procedure to identify the alleged gang and whether the MHA had prepared a list of leaders and members of this “gang” that Shah had mentioned.

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However, weeks later, the Ministry of Home Affairs responded to the RTI query by saying that, “The Ministry of Home Affairs has no information concerning tukde-tukde gang.”

The BJP leaders have often used the phrases ‘urban naxals’ and ‘tukde-tukde gang’ to target and smear their opponents on a variety of occasions, most frequently to describe those protesting against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

In December after protests against the CAA erupted across the country, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We are ready to talk to the protestors and students. But we will not talk to tukde tukde gang and urban naxals, who pursue politics of violence. They will be dealt with as per law. Those who engage in violence will be dealt with accordingly.”

Union minister Giriraj Singh also said that the Congress, opposition and members of the “tukde-tukde gang” were creating confusion about the citizenship law in the country.

Union home minister Amit Shah has also on several occasions invoked the terms ‘urban naxals’ and ‘tukde-tukde‘.