Naxalism/ Maoism: India
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
i) Left Wing Extremism in India
By P V Ramana
Observer Research Foundation18 December 2003
"Left-wing Extremism in India", is a chapter in Dipankar Sengupta (ed), Terrorism in South Asia , New Delhi: Author's Press, 2004.
ii) The A to Z of Naxal fight: All about the movement, its goal and its leaders
ET Bureau Jun 5, 2013
iii) Jharkhand records highest Naxal violence this year
Bharti Jain, TNN Apr 20, 2013
iv) Left-wing extremism has killed 14,869 people since 1980
Bharti Jain, TNN Oct 22, 2013
Also known as the Revolution of 1911, or the Chinese Revolution, that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, and established the Republic of China.
Mao Tse Tung
Established the Chinese People's Republic. Maoism, formally known as Mao Zedong Thought, is a political theory derived from his teachings. Maoism sees the agrarian peasantry, rather than the working class, as the key revolutionary force which can fundamentally transform capitalist society towards socialism
By July 1948, 2,500 villages in the south were organised into 'communes' as part of a peasant movement. Simultaneously the famous Andhra Thesis for the first time demanded that 'Indian revolution' follow the Chinese path of protracted people's war.
Violent Left wing extremism began in Naxalbari, Bengal, but the modern-day Maoist agitation finds its roots in AP, once the epicentre of the movement - at its peak 23 out of the 26 districts were Maoist-affected. Even today, a bulk of its top leaders is from the state. However, Maoist violence has ebbed
Fifth and Ninth
Schedules of the Constitution provide for a limited form of autonomy to tribals with regard to exploiting natural resources on their lands. But this did not happen in practice
by the failure of government in tribal areas was exploited by the Maoists initially
The 'jungle of punishment' of Ramayana lore is where Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra meet up. The forest is the epicenter of the Maoist movement Dantewada Ambush: On April 6,2010, Maoists killed 76 CRPF men
Once India's biggest district, it was later divided into Bastar, Dandewata and Kanker. Today, the greater Bastar region, with about 70% ST population, is a hotbed of Maoists. Bhumkal Rebellion: The tribal uprising against the British in 1910 still inspires the Maoists
Naxalites have killed political leaders belonging to various levels and have, on occasion, apologized terming the killing a 'mistake'. For instance, the PWG Naxalites had shot dead in cold blood a former Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly, Duddilla Sripada Rao 9 , and a serving Legislator of the same Legislature, who belonged to the tribal community, Ragya Nayak 10 . Subsequently, they had apologized for their mindless act
The Naxalites' abduction attempts had on some other occasions brought them 'rich dividends'. Way back in 1987, on December 27, they had boldly abducted a group of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the forest area in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, and set them free in exchange for their colleagues detained at the Central Prison in Rajahmundry, a few days later.
The amounts the Naxalite groups earn through extortion are phenomenal. In Andhra Pradesh alone the PWG, according to one rough estimate, earns seven hundred million rupees annually; the PWG is active in nine States in India. Furthermore, there are 19 Left-wing extremist groups operating in Andhra Pradesh. Another report held that the MCC earns one billion rupees annually in Bihar alone. Extortion appears to be the primary motto of existence for the lesser known Naxalite groups. During the season in which tendu (similar to tobacco) leaf is plucked, all these groups move to the areas where the leaf is grown and plucked and implement strong arm methods to extort money from the contractors.
Appeal to the masses
In spite of their violent activities, their dogmatic, declared antipathy towards religion, rejection of parliamentary politics and an avowed commitment to armed struggle, the Naxalites enjoy sympathy and support among sections of the people probably because they are seen as 'performing' the duties that should originally have been carried out by the 'welfare state'. In that sense, they apparently have replaced the state, and for the people they, thus, become the 'deliverers', where as the state is seen as having neglected and had, in a way, been partially responsible for their continued deprivation.
Areas of influence
Certain districts in Naxal-affected areas are "liberated zones", according to union minister Jairam Ramesh
According to a Union Home Ministry report, 53 districts in nine States in India are affected by the menace of Left-wing extremist violence as in 2003 . On an examination of reports in the English language media, evidently, there is an expansion in the presence of the Naxalites in different parts of the country. This is especially true of the PWG and the MCC.
MCC has gained a presence in parts of north Jharkhand, western areas of West Bengal bordering Bihar, and northern Orissa.
The activities of the PWG have been on the rise in Chhattisgarh, and in many areas in southern and northern Orissa, southern West Bengal, and in Andhra Pradesh--in the areas on the fringes of Nallamala forests, and in Palanadu in Guntur and in north coastal regions. Further, media reports indicate that the PWG is gradually entering into parts of Karnataka on the borders with Andhra Pradesh. Not only this, some radical elements, or Naxalites, who are believed to be linked to Andhra Pradesh-based cadres of the PWG, had been arrested while another was killed by the police in Tamil Nadu, in November 2002 . Further, Left-wing extremists have a presence in the lobe-like area in south-southeast Uttar Pradesh, which lies in close physical proximity to areas in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Of all the Left-wing extremist groups, the PWG has the largest presence, in different parts of the country. At the present, the rebels claim that they have established seven guerrilla zones of domination, four in Andhra Pradesh, where the group was originally founded on April 22, 1980, one in Bihar, one in parts of Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border, and the other in the Dandakaranya forest in central India 7 . Further, the PWG has a State Committee to over see its activities in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Haryana and Punjab. The MCC has, in the year 2003, acquired a new presence in Punjab after a little known Naxalite group, the Revolutionary Communist Center of India--RCCI (M), merged with it
Maoist-affected region in south-west Bengal, consisting of large parts of 3 districts, West Midnapore , Bankura and Purulia. Home to a sizeable tribal population; moreover, hilly topography makes region ideal for guerilla operations.
Naxal-affected area covering in AP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, MP, Orissa, UP and West Bengal. Region is market by poverty, high illiteracy and lack of employment. Primary economic activity in the mineral rich area is agriculture.
2018: Number of Naxal-hit districts reduces from 126 to 82
In a significant indicator of the shrinking arc of influence of Left-wing extremists, the Centre has removed 44 districts from the list of 126 Naxalism-hit districts while adding eight, including three in Kerala, as a “pre-emptive” measure. The number of worst-affected districts is also down to 30 from 35, with three districts in Jharkhand and two in Bihar no longer on the list.
The revised list was approved by the home ministry as part of its redrawn security-related expenditure scheme — under which expenditure incurred by states to fight Naxalism in the affected districts is reimbursed — effective from April 1. The re-categorisation, done in consultation with the affected states, took into account violence, Naxalite activity as well as movement/presence of Maoists in the said districts, MHA sources told TOI.
The LWE-hit areas now include 90 districts across 10 states. Of these, only 58 saw violence in the past year. Home secretary Rajiv Gauba was quoted by PTI as saying on Sunday that the geographical spread of LWE violence had shrunk significantly in the past four years due to a multipronged strategy focused on security and development.
The eight newly-added districts include Malappuram, Wayanad and Palakkad in Kerala, all bordering the Maoistinfested trijunction with Karnataka and TN. Kerala has been included as a Maoist-affected state for the first time.
The other new LWE-hit districts are Mandla in MP, West Godavari in Andhra, Kabirdham in Chhattisgarh and Angul and Boudh in Odisha. An MHA official said most of these districts bordered Naxal-hit zones and were included to preempt any spillover effect. “Though the districts did not report any violence, they were included as Maoists tend to shift to adjoining areas under pressure,” said an officer.
Five districts that shed the “worst-hit” tag are Dumka, East Singhbhum and Ramgarh in Jharkhand and Nawada and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
2018 vis-à-vis 2017: 20% reduction in violence, Naxal area shrinks-
Less than a week after security forces gunned down 39 Maoists in Gadchiroli, elite Greyhound commandos crossed the Chhattisgarh border and shot dead eight rebels in a forest region of Bijapur on Friday.
Six of those killed are women. The dead haven’t been identified yet but going by the fact that six rocket launchers were seized, security forces believe there may have hit a key squad of the rebels.
Special director general of Police Durgesh Madhav Awasthi told reporters here that Chhattisgarh police and CRPF assisted the Greyhounds in the gunbattle. The security forces did not suffer any causalities.
The gunfight broke out on a remote hillock near Ilmidi police station of Bijapur district, bang on the border with Telangana. Greyhounds were pursuing a squad of rebels on a tip off and contacted the Chhattisgarh forces on realising that the Maoists had crossed over.
With police and CRPF blocking escape routes, the Greyhounds went after the Maoists. “When security forces were cordoning off the forest hillock, the rebels opened indiscriminate fire, leading to a gun battle”, said Awasthi. Commandos moved forward to comb the area and came across eight bodies, said the DGP. “All of them were in uniform,” Awasthi said, adding that an SLR rifle, a .303, four .12 bore guns, a .315 rifle, a single-barrel muzzleloading gun, three hand grenades, six rocket launchers and Maoist literature were seized from the area.
Bodies of the slain Naxals were airlifted to Bijapur town by an IAF chopper and the process of identifying them is underway, he said.
2018: Red corridor shrinks to 58 districts
It Covered 75 Districts In 2015; New Anti-Maoist Strategy Delivers Results
A redrawn counter-insurgency strategy, backed by real-time intelligence through use of modern technology like drones and involving coordinated day and night operations by security personnel, to target Maoists deep inside the jungles has brought down the number of districts afflicted by left-wing extremist violence to 58.
Data compiled by CRPF shows that the number of districts under the grip of Maoist vioelnce has dropped significantly since 2015, with over 90% of attacks being reported from only four states — Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
While 75 districts across nine states reported violent attacks by Naxals in 2015, the number came down to 67 in 2016 and dropped to 58 in 2017, touted as the best year for the security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations.
Officials attributed the success to the revamped strategy to target senior Maoist leaders and their informers with enhanced and precise intelligence. Officials said there are more joint operations by the CRPF, the IAF, the BSF, the ITBP and state forces. Along with the operations, the administration is speeding up development work, including installation of mobile phone towers and construction of roads, besides setting up police stations in remote villages.
CRPF director general Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar told TOI, “The past year, we have hit the Naxals in their den. Our coordination with state police, intelligence agencies and armed forces has been exceptional. The focus has been on leaders, over ground operatives and sympathisers. The Naxals are not able to move arms, funds and their senior leaders from one place to another.”
He said the influence of Naxals is now restricted to only three pockets — Bastar-Sukma (having an area of around 1200 sq km), AOB (Andhra-Odisha Border — 2,000 sq km) and Abujmaad forest area (4,500 sq km). “There is a security vacuum and administration has not been able to completely access these areas,” Bhatnagar said.
In terms of operations, with over 150 cadres of CPI (Maoist) killed, 2017 was one of the most successful years for the security forces. The anti-Naxal strategy was revamped after home minister Rajnath Singh met CMs of Naxal-affected states in May last year following the killing of 25 CRPF men in Sukma. Singh has said that Naxal violence has come down by 60%.
In an internal policy document of Naxals — ‘Action Plan 2017-2022’ — recovered by agencies recently, Maoists themselves admit that 140 of their comrades, including 30 women, were killed by security forces in 2017. The document, accessed by TOI, says many of its important leaders were also killed by the forces.
2018: Naxals reduced to 3 pockets — Bastar-Sukma; Andhra-Odisha Border; Abujmaad
The death of 47 Maoists in police action in less than a week, first in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli and then in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur on Friday, is part of a larger strategy of central and state forces to deny Red ultras breathing space this summer, when they launch intensive operations.
The intensive “war” campaigns carried out by Naxals, called tactical counter offensive campaigns (TCOC), pose a serious challenge to security forces as the targets can be varied and often carry an element of surprise that gives the extremists at least a few significant successes. The CRPF and state police forces are aggressively entering core areas where military wings of Naxals are based in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Bihar and Andhra to make sure that the TCOC, which Naxals began early this year, in January itself, doesn’t succeed and allow them to retain currency.
Earlier, the TCOC against the security forces was launched by Naxals in March and went on till June. Counter measures are being planned. “There are coordinated operations to trace IEDs on roads, avoid ambushes and target Maoist leaders,” said a senior officer, requesting anonymity.
All this, he said, is showing results too. Last year, 75 security personnel were killed by Naxals till April 15, but casualties suffered by security personnel has come down to 27 this year till mid-April.
Most of the operations being carried in worst affected districts are now backed by real-time intelligence and involves use of drones and other gadgets, which has resulted in government earlier this month announcing reduction in number of districts affected by Naxal violence.
Officials said that the idea is to bring maximum area out of Naxal’s control and initiate development work there.
As a result of the proactive approach of security forces in the last one year, the influence of Naxals is now restricted to only three pockets — Bastar-Sukma (having an area of around 1,200 sq km), AOB (Andhra-Odisha Border — 2,000 sq km) and Abujmaad forest area (4,500 sq km).
Officials said that they are targeting their leaders, over ground operatives and sympathisers and the Naxals are now not able to move arms, funds and their senior leaders from one place to another.
CRPF director general Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar told TOI, “Apart from operations, the administration is speeding up development work, including installation of mobile phone towers and construction of roads, besides setting up police stations in remote villages. The Naxals are on the backfoot and we have been successful in pushing them”.
2018: Three Andhra districts no longer under their influence
The ministry of home affairs has removed three districts in Andhra Pradesh from the list of 106 left wing extremism (LWE) affected districts, which used to receive central assistance as part of security related expenditure (SRE) for counter-insurgency operations.
Sources said no Naxal violence has been reported in Anantapur, Kurnool and Prakasam for a very long time, hence it was decided “security assistance fund from Centre is no more required.” “The CRPF deployment now in these districts is also almost zero, while West Godavari has been added for the first time in this list,” said a senior MHA officer.
Union minister for state of home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, while replying to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, stated the SRE districts have been reviewed and six districts of Andhra Pradesh – East Godavari, Guntur Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Vizinagaram and West Godavari will be covered under SRE scheme from April 1, 2018.
West Godavari has been added among LWE affected states for the first time, said sources. Earlier, eight districts of Andhra Pradesh were receiving the grant.
According to the MHA, Andhra Pradesh reported 66 incidents of Naxal violence in 2009, which has come down to 26 in 2017. Not a single incident has yet been reported in 2018.
As part of a multi-prolonged strategy, the ministry of home affairs implements various schemes such as SRE, assistance to central agencies for LWE management, special infrastructure scheme (SIS) along with construction of 250 fortified police stations, media plan, civic action program and special central assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts.
The SRE scheme is extended to a total of 106 districts in 10 states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The funds are given for recurring expenditure relating to operational and training needs of security forces, including the expenditure incurred for the rehabilitation of surrendered LWE cadres.
Under the scheme, central government had disbursed Rs 575.22 crore between 2011 and 2014; Rs 675.73 crore between 2014 and 2017, while maximum Rs 445 crore was released in 2017-18 financial year.
Kerala HC: Being Maoist not enough for arrest
May 22, 2015
Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules
Justice AM Muhammed Mushtaq said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind the bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities..
In a significant development, the Kerala high court made it clear that a Maoist cannot be taken into police custody just because of his political leanings.
Justice A M Muhammed Mushtaq, in his order on Friday, said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.
"Being a Maoist is no crime, though the political ideology of Maoists would not synchronise with our constitutional polity. It is a basic human right to think in terms of human aspirations," Justice Mushtaq said in his order.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Shyam Balakrishnan of Wayanad stating that he was arrested and harassed by the Thunderbolt team -- a special police unit - for alleged Maoist links. The court ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh for the petitioner and also asked to state to pay litigation costs of Rs 10, 000.
The court said that the state police had violated the liberty of the petitioner by taking him into custody without verifying whether the petitioner had been involved in any offence. The order cited various Supreme Court precedents on the matter. In State Of Kerala vs Raneef, the SC observed, "In the present case there is no evidence as yet to prove that the PFI (Popular Front of India) is a terrorist organization, and hence the respondent cannot be penalized merely for belonging to the PFI. Moreover, even assuming that the PFI is an illegal organization, we have yet to consider whether all members of the organization can be automatically held to be guilty.
Balakrishnan, incidentally the son a former HC judge, had submitted that the police took him into custody and conducted an illegal search in his house. He termed the police action as infringement of fundamental rights and sought a directive to the state government to initiate disciplinary action against the DySP of Mananthavadi and sub-inspector of Vellamunda police station.
However, the court declined to issue such a directive. "If the individual or organisation abhors and resorts to physical violence, law agency can prevent or take action against individuals or organisations," the order said. The court added that the petitioner could approach the police complaint authority for action against the cops.
In its submission, the state government said that it had taken steps to prevent illegal activities of the Maoist group who were active in the forest area within Vellamunda police station limits.
Welcoming the order, human rights activists Jaison C Cooper and Thushar Nirmal Sarathy, who were arrested under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and were in jail for 47 days, said that it will help raise awareness among citizens on human rights. "However, there have been several judgments by the Supreme Court and high courts on these lines, yet the violations have continued. Ideally, in this case, the compensation should have been collected from the police personnel who violated the law rather than from the public exchequer," Jaison warned.
Thushar said that the police force in the country and the state have been indulging in human rights violations in the name of such links. "While there is no cause for rejoicing, we can always hope for something better."
Noted activist and president of Anweshi, K Ajitha also welcomed the order, and said that just because a person finds a political ideology interesting or agrees with certain principles of Maoist ideology, he or she cannot be termed a criminal. "There are a lot of people in society who might agree with the stand taken by the Naxals or Maoists as they might find that it was done for the weaker sections or for the larger good," she said.
Development, impact on
Maoist retreat revives road construction in Odisha/ 2018
Krushna Miniaka, a resident of Pipli in the Maoist-affected Bissamkatak block of Rayagada district in Odisha, finds it hard to travel to the block or district headquarters as his village lacks an all-weather road. He also lives in perpetual fear of medical emergencies as ambulances refuse to negotiate the narrow dirt road to Pipli. All this is about to change, as Miniaka’s village will soon get a road. It is now being built at a cost of Rs 2 crore.
Pipli is not the only beneficiary of the road boom in Rayagada. With extensive combing leading to a decline in Maoist activities, the administration has decided to build 618km of roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the current fiscal.
The target is significant because since the launch of PMGSY in 2000, the district has constructed only 1,863km of roads at an average of 100km every year.
Of the 11 blocks in the district, seven were classified as Maoist-hit. On April 28, Maoists set fire to vehicles used for laying roads under PMGSY at Lakhpadar under Kalyansinghpur block. With the work now progressing at a steady pace, new roads in the district will replace those made of mud, and will solve the connectivity problem.
Rayagada’s hilly terrain and lack of a proper road network connecting the block and district headquarters had made it difficult for the administration to reach its remote corners. “Areas where the road network is virtually non-existent will benefit from the new roads. To ensure that welfare schemes reach the tribal populations in the interiors, we decided to strengthen the road network on a mission mode,” said collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar.
Officials of the district’s rural works department said construction of 618km of rural roads would cost Rs 300 crore. “Nearly 200 villages of the district will get connected with all-weather roads by March 2019,” said Pradeep Chandra Mandal, executive engineer of the rural works department in Rayagada.
“Officials have not faced any resistance from the rebels (Maoists). We have completed laying around 80km of roads. These will be opened for public traffic in the next few weeks,” Mandal added.
Local residents, too, are hopeful that better connectivity would bring development to their doorstep and strengthen their economic condition. “Due to bad roads, government officials, including health staff, do not visit remote areas of the district. We are happy that we will get new roads soon,” said Miniaka.
Fraternal ties with external actors, in brief
The Naxalites have fraternal ties among themselves in India and with other groups in some other parts of the world. Broadly, these could be classified as internal, regional and extra-regional. The internal ties are more in terms of defining regions of activities, where by through a range of informal understandings the various Naxalite groups have divided the 'turf' among themselves
The Maoist insurgents of Nepal, who have been waging a 'people's war' since 1996 and whose chief demand is turning the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal into a Republic, have been making a relentless effort to bring closer the PWG and the MCC.
The Times of India, April 27, 2016
Naxals have links in Philippines, Turkey
The government said that Naxals have close links with Maoist organisations in Philippines and Turkey and get support from several organisations in Europe.
“The CPI (Maoist) has close links with foreign Maoist organisations in Philippines, Turkey etc.The outfit is also a member of the Coordination Committee of Maoist parties and organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA),“ minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said in Lok Sabha.
The Maoist parties of South Asian countries are members of this conglomerate. Besides, left-wing extremist gro ups have participated in conferences and seminars conducted in Belgium and Germany.
“The so-called `People's War' being waged by the CPI (Maoist) against the Indian state has also drawn support from several Maoist fringe organisations located in Germany , France, Turkey , Italy etc.,“ he said.
Recovery of arms and ammu nition of foreign origin from LWE in different enco unters is an indica tion of the fact that they are procuring weapons from different sources.
“Inputs indicate that some senior cadres of the Communist Party of Philippines imparted training to the cadres of CPI (Maoist) in 2005 and 2011,“ he said.
The Government's response
Integrated Action Plan
GoI's ambitious plan to develop 60 Maoist districts; aimed at quick resolution of problems concerning healthcare, drinking water, education and roads. Launched in 2010, but yet to create any solid impact
The AP state police commando force raised in 1986 that's credited with decimating the Maoist movement in the state. Greyhound veterans routinely train anti-Maoist wings of other affected state police forces.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) slapped on CPI (Maoist) designating it as a terrorist organization in 2009
Operation Green Hunt
The operation began in November 2009 in five states. However, this term was actually coined by the Chhattisgarh police officials to describe one successful drive against the CPI (M) in the state
YS Rajasekhar Reddy was seen as the main force that drove out Maoists from AP. The Greyhound squad was the most effective under YSR (2005-06).
Was a civilian militia mobilised and deployed as part of anti-insurgency operations in Chhattisgarh, India, aimed at countering Naxalite violence in the region. SC declared militia illegal and unconstitutional and ordered its disbanding
Surrender and Rehabilitation
A critical dimension of the problem of Left-wing extremism is the Government's policy of encouraging surrenders by Naxalites and rehabilitating them. In Andhra Pradesh, a surrendering cadre is given a sum of INR 5,000 at the time of the surrender and subsequently each of them is eligible to receive an amount of INR 500,000 to pursue an avocation of his or her choice and, thus, lead a peaceful life.
NDA/ 2016: Integrated Action Plan (IAP)
NDA's new anti-Naxal doctrine promises to deal with violence more effectively
October 16, 2014
The Narendra Modi Government has formulated a new anti-Naxal policy that will place greater weight on achieving "short-term goals" in the fight against left-wing extremism, marking a sharp departure from the UPA government's approach to the red corridor.
The NDA's anti-Naxal doctrine, accessed by India Today contrasts with the long-term anti-Naxal strategy championed by influential sections of the previous UPA government which advocated solutions through land reforms and by implementing the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA).
Home Minister Rajnath Singh's new policy focuses on the 23 worst-hit districts among the 88 left-wing extremism-affected areas. The Government is hoping to attract its best talent to serve in these troubled areas, with the policy offering new incentives for officials."The state governments will post the most competent District Collectors, SPs and sub-divisional officers and Station House Officers for fixed terms of three years," the policy states. "As an incentive, they will be assured of a posting of their choice and given extra allowances, exposure visits abroad and central deputation." Under the UPA, the anti-Naxal policy was largely focused on four states- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha-comprising 50 districts.
Another key change being made by the NDA Government is on implementing the Integrated Action Plan (IAP), a major anti-Naxal initiative that was being run by the Planning Commission. The new plan does away with the earlier district-wise approach to development, instead focusing on lower-level blocks to implement schemes. This is aimed at reversing a trend wherein large swathes of worst-affected zones remained undeveloped.
Reaching out to the adivasis
Singh told India Today that the plan will do more to bring adivasis into the mainstream. He has outlined a strategy of giving more recognition to adivasi icons, for instance, by naming airports and roads after them and celebrating their anniversaries.
Adivasi outreach will be a central theme in the policy, he said, through increased monetary support from state governments for celebrating adivasi festivals and the setting up of dedicated museums and cultural centres. The policy will also open up recruitment in central police forces for tribals, declaring that "tribal youths who meet the eligibility criteria should not be barred from being recruited in the general category provided they meet the other prescribed benchmarks". Under the UPA regime, many cases of recruitment of tribal youth in central forces were rejected on various grounds."It is a balanced approach where on the one hand our effort is to bring the adivasi into the mainstream and on the other, to strictly deal with those who indulge in violence," Singh said.
The new development plan will identify three to four locations in each of the worst-affected districts, proposing setting up of development hubs. There are plans to speed up construction of roads in affected areas by boosting a dedicated security cover for critical stretches. The plan will also expedite the creation of an engineering wing in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the lead counterinsurgency force in these areas.
Under the UPA regime's road-requirement plan, only 3,200 km out of 5,477 km were completed in the first phase, while in the second phase, construction was hampered by a paucity of funds, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the Planning Commission. The cost of building 5,600 km of roads and 48 bridges under the second phase was estimated at Rs.9,500 crore. The NDA plans to sanction this amount.
The new doctrine also envisages the setting up of a core group of ministers at the central level as an oversight mechanism. The group will have Singh as the chairperson, with Finance, Tribal, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Environment and Forest Ministers as members. Chief Ministers of 10 left-wing extremism affected states will be special invitees.
But if the NDA's new anti-Naxal plan is to succeed, many challenges have to be overcome first. Security personnel in affected areas say police stations remain ill-equipped. Even the most basic intelligence, such as dossiers on Maoist cadres active in a particular area, is not made available in many stations. In some districts, the police-to-population ratio is below the desired level. The police forces are also not adequately trained.
The objective of the Naxalites is to wage an armed revolution, modeled on the lines of the Chinese Revolution, which they call New Democratic Revolution (NDR), and usher in their own form of government
monographs authored by Charu Majumdar that outline the ideological principles on which the Naxalite militant communist movement in India was based
Cha Janma, (The birth of a Naxal), a Marathi novel written by Vilas Balkrishna Manohar is a fictional account of a Madia Gond Juru's unwilling journey of life, his metamorphosis from an exploited nameless tribal to a Naxal.
Where is Naxalbari?
Located in north Bengal's Darjeeling district, Naxalbari is now a halfhour drive from Bagdogra airport and barely 10 km from the Nepal border
What happened in the summer of 1967?
The Communists were in active mobilization mode in these parts since the early 1960s. On May 25, 1967, 11 protesters were shot by the police as a reaction to the killing of a senior cop Sonam Wangdi the previous day. Eight were women; two were infants. The upsurge was put out by brute force. Jyoti Basu was Bengal's home minister then
Who were the leaders and cadres?
Charu Majumdar (right) was the theoretician. Kanu Sanyal was the key organizer. Jangal Santhal was another important organiser. Tribals and rajbonshis, members of a scheduled caste, formed its backbone
What were the long-term effects?
It compelled the state to carry out land reforms, including redistribution of land. The CPI (ML) was formed by this breakaway group in 1969, thereby splitting the Communist movement a second time after 1964. Shades of the movement survive in various CPI (ML) outfits and the Maoists
May 1967: II
Hathigisha village, Naxalbari block: Women played an active role in the 1967 Naxalbari movement. Of the 11 demonstrators who died in the police firing on May 25, 1967, eight were women. Shanti Munda (Sarkar), now 74, is one of the few surviving women from those days of blood, sweat and fire.
“Much before Naxalbari happened, I used to go for political meetings and demonstrations. Even as a teenager, I gave speeches on the exploitation of bhag chasis (cultivators) by jotedars (rich peasants). I loved the freedom that politics gave me. Politics enabled me to step out of home and opened the door to a new world in those conservative times,“ says Munda, whose father was a farmer and Communist party member.
Even in 2017, Munda clearly remembers the Naxalbari struggle of May 1967. “My younger daughter had been born just 15 days ago but nothing could stop me from being part of the huge gathering on May 24. The movement had galvanized women from nearby areas too.Even old women who could not walk properly had re a ch e d t h e re.There was a party principle those days: if a cop enters a village, women must gherao him. Then someone in the crowd riddled inspector Sonam Wangdi with arrows and there was chaos,“ she says.
After her comrades were killed in police action the next day , she went underground for five years. `I worked for the party in Jalpaiguri district: organizing peasants, giving them a vision of what the country will be once revolution happens,“ says Munda, who despite her frail health, continues to be involved in radical Left politics. She also contested elections as a CPI (ML) candidate from Phansidewa constituency in 1982 and 1987 and lost on both occasions.
Munda is sad about the way the Communist movement failed to take off in India. “The Chinese Communist party was formed around the same time as ours.Now just compare the achievements of the two,“ she asks.
Looking back at 1967, she remains convinced that Naxalbari was the right path to follow. “But the movement suffered after dalals and thieves sneaked in,“ she says. Munda is convinced that land will be at the centre of future struggles. “Land is being forcibly taken away from people.There are no jobs. The fight for land will always continue,“ she says.
On the other hand, the Naxalites have established linkages with political leaders. On conditions of anonymity, one senior police official accepted the fact in an interview with this author, but declined to name some such leaders. These leaders could belong to various levels. The Naxalites and the political leaders take advantage of another and hence maintain linkages.
Deaths in Naxal violence: 2011- 17
Surrender policy of Naxals, in brief
The founder of Naxalbari peasant uprising in 1967, who is up there in the ultra-left pantheon along with Lenin, Stalin & Mao. Died in a police lock-up, aged 54, in Kolkata in 1972 CCOMPOSA: The Co-ordination Ccommittee for all Maoist Groupings in South Asia, including Nepal's ruling party
Joined CPI at a young age, he was active in the Telengana rebellion. He formed the People's War Group Kishenji: Mallojula Koteswara Rao, aka Kishenji, was considered the face of the Maoist movement in India. He was killed in Nov 2011 by security forces
Laxman Rao, Mupalla
He was one of the early members of CPI (ML) PWG. Is now the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), formed after the merger of PWG and Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) in 2004
People's Liberation Guerilla Army
It was founded in December 2000 as the People's Guerrilla Army by the PWG. Later, It changed its name to PLGA when CPI (Maoist) was formed in 2004
form 40% of cadre, according to CPI (M) in 2010
Left-wing extremist Groups in India
There are more than 30 Left-wing extremist groups in operation in India. Some of them have consistently followed a violent agenda, rejecting parliamentary politics. Some others have been participating in the democratic processes with considerable success, while some maintain underground cadres, but also participate in parliamentary politics.
The most lethal extreme-left rebel outfit in India is the Communist Party of India--Marxist-Leninist People's War, in short People's War (PW). Prior to the merger between the People's War and the Bihar-based Party Unity (PU), the People's War was known as People's War Group (PWG) 3 . Another is the Maoist Communist Center (MCC). Both these groups follow a violent agenda and have rejected parliamentary politics.
The Communist Party of India--Marxist-Leninist Liberation, in short Liberation, is the most well-known over-ground Naxalite group that has successfully participated in parliamentary politics. The Communist Party of India--Marxist-Leninist Janasakthi, in short Janasakthi, is another Naxalite outfit. It maintains under ground cadres, as well as participates in democratic processes. There are a host of other Naxalite groups in India that are less prominent 4 .
‘Top Maoist leaders are millionaires’: Intelligence report
Children of top Maoists Sandeep Yadav and Pradyuman Sharma study in prestigious colleges, own sports bikes and travel by air.
Sandeep is wanted in 88 cases and carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh while Pradyuman is wanted in 51 cases and carries a reward of Rs 50,000.
Two top Maoists in Bihar and Jharkhand who boast of fighting for the cause of marginalised sections of the society are millionaires and their family members lead a lavish life with the extortion money collected by cadres, according to an intelligence report prepared by the special task force (STF) of Bihar police.
The report says that children of top Maoists Sandeep Yadav and Pradyuman Sharma, who are active in Bihar and Jharkhand, study in prestigious colleges, own sports bikes and travel by air.
Sandeep, who is in charge of Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee (BJSAC), is wanted in 88 cases and carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head. His brother Dhanik Lal is also a Maoist.
Pradyuman is wanted in 51 cases and carries a reward of Rs 50,000. He is also a member of the special area committee. The report says that Sandeep's elder son Rahul Kumar is a second semester BBA student at a reputed private college in Patna. A sports bike, purchased from an Aurangabad showroom on down payment, is registered in his name. Sandeep's younger son Rahul Kumar lives with his mother Rajanti Kumari in Ranchi.
He also owns a sports bike and studies at one of the most reputed colleges in Ranchi. His sister studies at a private residential school in Gaya district.
Sandeep's wife is an untrained teacher at a government primary school in Lutua panchayat of Gaya district.Though Rajanti remains absent from school, she gets regular salary and owns property worth at least Rs 80 lakh, the report says.
She has Rs 13.53 lakh in three different bank accounts in Aurangabad and has invested Rs 2.31 lakh in mutual funds. The Maoist leader's sonin-law Gajendra Narayan is a teacher at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Radheshyam Park area in New Delhi and has more than Rs 12 lakh in different bank accounts. He booked a flat worth Rs 35 lakh this year.
Pradyuman and his brother Pramod Singh own 250 acres of land in Jehanabad which is valued at Rs 83.8 lakh. His niece Puja Kumari travels by air and studies in a medical college at Kanchipuram. She had paid Rs 22 lakh for her admission.
As cadres toiled, Naxal brass amassed wealth
Flats In Metros, Fleet Of Cars & Cash Seized By ED
The Enforcement Directorate, probing the “ill-gotten” personal assets of left-wing extremists in Bihar and Jharkhand as part of a larger crackdown on Maoist funding, has attached/seized their properties worth crores of rupees, including several plots of land in Bihar and flats in New Delhi and Kolkata.
The agency, which has registered cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against leaders of CPI (Maoist) special area committees and attached their properties worth Rs 1.5 crore, has seized an additional Rs 1.43 lakh in cash, a fleet of cars and vehicles, around 20 acres of land and buildings from Maoist leaders and their relatives in Bihar and Jharkhand.
The attached properties in the PMLA case against leaders of the CPI(Maoist) Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee include eight plots worth Rs 31.68 lakh, all purchased by accused Pradyuman Sharma between 2010 and 2016, and his house valued at Rs 35.47 lakh. Similarly, value of attached properties owned by co-accused Sandeep Yadav is around Rs 86 lakh, which includes plots in Gaya and Aurangabad, a 2 BHK flat in Smart Residency, Dwarka, and bank deposits.
An extra Rs 1.43 crore cash was recovered from CPI (Maoist) leaders and their relatives, including Rs 27.5 lakh from the wife of top CPI (Maoist) leader Arvindji, who died recently in Latehar, Jharkhand. Among the other items seized under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are two flats in Kolkata, cars/ vehicles like Mahindra Scorpio, JCB, Maruti Swift, Jeep and Bolero and gold jewellery.
The Maoist leaders have allegedly amassed huge personal wealth by diverting collections made on behalf of CPI (Maoist) from private contractors, mining contractors, transporters, small/medium entrepreneurs and tendu patta contractors. An officer said Maoists often use such ill-gotten money to avail best of education for their children and ensure their families live in comfort, “while misled cadres toil away in the jungles in the name of a twisted ideology”.
For instance, ED investigations revealed Pradyuman Sharma paid Rs 22 lakh as fees for admission of his niece to a private medical college in 2017, while Sandeep Yadav allegedly exchanged Rs 15 lakh cash during demonetisation.
2018: Maoist chief Ganapathy steps down, Basava Raj takes over
But Won’t Surrender To Authorities
Muppalla Lakshmana Rao, alias Ganapathy, patriarch of CPI (Maoists) , has stepped down from his post and guerrilla action on health grounds. The 72-year-old rebel from Birpur, in Jagtial district of Telangana, is currently undergoing treatment for severe arthritis.
Namballa Kesava Rao, 64, alias Basava Raj, of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, took charge as chief of the banned outfit soon after Ganapathy stepped down, sources said.
Following the succession, the CPI Maoist central committee also decided to induct six new faces into the committee as many central committee members had either been arrested or had surrendered in recent years, reducing their number to below 15 from 39 in 2010.
The change of guard has the approval of the outfit’s congress, sources said. Police sources said the last congress (the 9th), called “Unity Congress”, had been held in 2007 after the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre of India and People’s War Group (PWG). The 10th Congress was due since 2012. According to information gleaned from surrendered Maoists, the congress, despite not meeting the last few years, elected CC members who in turn elected the general secretary.
According to sources, Ganapathy has been suffering from acute arthritis for five years and has been taking homeopathic medicines. “A person of his stature will not be able to be brought to urban areas for modern allopathic treatment. He is bed-ridden but not on his death bed,” a senior police officer said.
Ganapathy, a former school teacher from Jagtial mandal of erstwhile Warangal district, joined People’s War Group formed by Kondapalli Seetaramaiah and K G Satyamurthy in the late ’70s as a member and rose through the ranks to become general secretary in the early ’90s when senior leaders developed differences with founder member Kondapalli.
“Unlike Kondapalli, who gave up his armed struggle after differences with seniors, Ganapathy will not surrender to security forces,” the sources said. He will continue as a central committee and politburo member to guide the outfit, they said.
Basava Raj (Namballa Kesava Rao)
The new general secretary of CPI (Maoist) is a former kabaddi player and a graduate of Regional Engineering College, Warangal, now known as National Institute of Technology.
Namballa Kesava Rao, 63, the new leader, also heads the central military commission (CMC) of the outfit.
The new secretary hails from Jiyyannapeta in Srikakulam, the land of the historic armed struggle, and is the first commander to enter East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts with armed cadres in the early ’80s.
Kesava Rao was earlier known as Ganganna in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts. He entered the Andhra-Odisha border in 1981-82 with four comrades.
Now known as Basava Raju, or BR among the cadre, Kesava Rao had started spreading Maoist ideology among the youth in the present east division of Andhra-Odisha border. He set up three squads with five to seven members within two years of his entry into the region.
“He is an alert, agile and shrewd commander. He is aware of atrocities against people. He is ideologically rooted and well-versed in the execution of military strategies,” a first-generation Naxal leader in the Andhra-Odisha border area said.
Kesava Rao, alias BR, was instrumental in forming the military squad People's Liberation Guerilla Army in 2000 and the Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee.
Recruitment of cadres
Naxals recruiting kids using lottery system: UN, 2018
A report released by United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres last week said Naxals were recruiting children in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to fight security forces, which the CRPF said was not a new trend.
The ‘Children in Armed Conflict’ report, which talked about killing or use of children in 20 countries including India, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Philippines and Nigeria, also said Naxals were using the lottery system, particularly in Jharkhand, to recruit children.
“The United Nations continued to receive reports of the recruitment and use of children, including by the Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Naxalites reportedly resorted to the use of a lottery system to conscript children in Jharkhand,” the report said. It, however, didn’t provide data on the number of children joining Maoists or any case study.
In the lottery system, children are recruited through a draw. Admitting that children aged 16 to 18 years were often forcibly taken away by Naxals, officials in the lead anti-Naxal force CRPF said “families are often forced to gift one child for their cause”.
“Sometimes, people allow their kids to be taken under pressure. But they are mostly boys above 16 years of age,” CRPF chief Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said. However, he added that it was not something new or an alarming trend.
These young recruits, often called ‘baal dastas’ or child soldiers, have been traditionally used by Maoists as ‘informers’, ‘carriers’ or for technical jobs, but since there was a drop in the strength of Maoists over the years, they were using them in combat roles, said an official requesting anonymity. The children are also used by Maoists as ‘shields’ to escape during a counter-terror operation as security forces don’t fire at the kids, the officer added.
CRPF officials said there was no data on how many kids may have joined the Naxals, but the numbers wouldn’t be too high.
Sources of funds
Gumla happy with Demonetisation
On the highway lined with sal trees in the southern part of the Chota Nagpur plateau, five years ago, no vehicle would ply after 4pm. Passing through the most affected district in the “red corridor” of the state was risky business.
As the government expedited road-building projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Road Requirement Plan (RRP) in left-wing extremism (LWE) affected areas in Jharkhand, extortion from contractors and transporters working in road construction, bauxite mining and stone quarries became a major source of income for Maoists.
In one such case of extortion in 2013, Shahabuddin, a road construction contractor, was killed along with his friend by People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), an extension of CPI (Maoists).
PLFI left behind a pamphlet to claim responsibility for the killings in Kolibera in Simdega, but the jolt was felt as much in Gumla which has for years, borne the brunt of Maoist violence.
“Such incidents had caused such a scare that after 4pm, nobody would be seen driving through this highway. But along with aggressive counter-insurgency operations, demonetisation broke the back of Maoists in this region,” claims a driver who works with a Ranchi-based cab agency. Now that a majority of them have been wiped out, extortion has also stopped, he adds, arguing that this is why no one cribs about demonetisation in the area.
Radha, whose husband Sohan Kisan was killed by Maoists in Raidhi Parkhand in 2003, also claims that demonetisation cut off funds for Maoists. “We heard that they dumped their notes in the caves in the jungle because they couldn’t get it back to the villages and deposit it in banks. Their currency was of no use,” says Radha.
A grade IV employee at a local government office, Radha is raising her two children in Gumla town. Interestingly, soon after demonetisation, a huge number of Maoists surrendered and currency was seized from them in all states affected by Naxal violence. Data shows that in Gumla district, incidents of killings in extremist violence came down from 16 in 2013 to only 1 in 2018. Overall, in Jharkhand, it came down from 55 in 2013 to 30 in 2018.
A middle-aged woman running a dhaba in Basia says peace in the area has been one of the biggest accomplishments of the Modi government. Gumla is part of the Lohardaga parliamentary constituency which will go to polls on April 29.
2014: ‘BJD paid Rs 45 lakh’
The Times of India, June 08 2016
Dipak Dash & Ashok Pradhan
Former Union minister and founder of Samata Kranti Dal, Braja Kishore Tripathy accused the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of financial dealings with arrested Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda. Tripathy , a former BJD member, claimed he has proof of Rs 45 lakh being transferred from BJD's account to that of Panda. Tripathy , who left BJD to join the BJP and later formed his own outfit, said he has written to PM Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh detailing the bank accounts and dates of transaction. BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy said the charges were baseless.
The allegations are politically explosive as Tripathy claims to have all details such as dates and account numbers and has accused chief minister Naveen Patnaik of a nexus with the Maoist leader, stating that the money was transferred during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“I am in possession of documents that Rs 45 lakh was transferred from BJD's SBI, Bhubaneswar account No.10091755246 to Sabyasachi Panda's ICICI Bank Chhatrapur branch (Ganjam district) account No. 203601501728 on April 10, 2014,“ Tripathy alleged.
He further alleged that a day earlier, on April 9, 2014, Rs 1 lakh was transferred from Panda's account to the BJD account through cheque. Tripathy said BJD had links with Maoists and had used the rebels for electoral gain.
BJD denied the allegations. Party spokesperson Satapathy said BJD never had any association with any Maoist leader. “We as a political party have always advocated that rebels should return to the mainstream and have been working in that direction.We don't have association of any kind with any outlawed group or individual,“ he said.
Government policies in left-wing extremism affected states, pressure built up by security forces for past few months  and the latest demonetisation decision seem to be making a strong impact in the region with 564 Naxals and their sympathizers surrendering before the authorities in the last 28 days, the highest number to do so in a month ever. Out of 564, officials say that 469 Naxals and their sympathisers have surrendered before the authorities since the November 8 demonetisation alone.
More than 70% of the surrenders have happened in Malkangiri district in Odisha, where Andhra Pradesh Greyhounds killed 23 Naxals in an encounter last month.
Since 2011, till November 15 2016, the total number of Naxal surrenders stand at 3,766, according to the home ministry data. In 2016 alone, 1,399 Naxals have surrendered, highest in the last six years. The CRPF officials say that several factors have contributed to the large scale surrenders, including government increasing development activities in the LWE-affected districts and clear message to Naxals and their sympathizers.
Demonetisation has thwarted the Naxals as they are not able to launder the old currency stashes to their suppliers with ease, hitting their capacity to procure firearms, ammunition, medicines, commodities of daily use and pay cash to cadres, say officials in local police and CRPF .
Home minister Rajnath Singh also hinted on Friday that Naxals are making desperate attempts to survive after the demonetisation. “They are trying to exchange their old notes through local contractors, businessmen and sympathisers,“ Singh had said in DGsIGs conference last week.
A large number of sympathisers believe that the ideology is not bringing them any benefits, said officials.
2017-18: surrenders, low morale, shortages
CRPF: Tribals Shun Outfit, Choose Jobs, Edu Instead
Resentment against the CPI (Maoist) leadership is growing among its lower and middle level cadres, the CRPF has concluded after carrying out an assessment of the Naxal outfit based on interrogation of several arrested members and literature recovered from their hideouts.
The cadres believe the senior Maoist leadership has become money minded and don’t care much about the cause, the Central Reserve Police Force said. Seniors remained in command in different states and there were hardly any young leaders, the force added.
“The young leaders are not keen to work in difficult areas. The senior leadership doesn’t listen to them even as they enjoy a good life. Due to this, many middle level and even senior cadres are surrendering as they are unhappy with the leadership,” the CRPF assessment report said.
Over 359 Maoists have surrendered this year, with 217 doing so in worst affected Chhattisgarh alone.
The tribals, the CRPF found, refused to join the Naxals as they saw better opportunities in government jobs and education. The Maoists’ strength was depleting every week due to coordinated operations and refusal of youngsters to join them, a CRPF officer said.
There is also massive “shortage of ammunition” for People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of the party, but “the senior leadership is not doing anything about it”, the CRPF’s analysis said.
For many Maoist leaders leaving the organisation, “development is the only route for welfare of tribals, farmers and unemployed youth in these areas”.
In fact, top Maoist leaders like Jampanna and Pahad Singh, who were associated with the movement for over two decades before their recent surrender out of “disappointment”, have claimed that “there is a generation gap in the thinking of those leading the CPI (Maoist) — the central committee members — and the middle level cadres”.
Pahad Singh, whose interrogation details were accessed by TOI, claimed that he didn’t trust the movement any more and Maoists were not doing anything for tribals. “Maoists ki kathni aur karni ko ujagar karna chahiye (there is a need to expose what Maoists preach and practise),” Singh said.
Singh told investigation agencies that “police should work towards the pride of tribals and educate them through ‘nukkad nataks’.
“To bring them to the mainstream, employ tribals in the forest department and other government jobs so that they don’t get lured by Maoists,” Singh, who was secretary of Special Zonal Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh Committee (SZMMC) of the Maoists for several years, said.
Singh also said the Maoists were trying to train cadres in air defence, hiding from surveillance UAVs in the jungle and repairing arms.
2019: Top Jharkhand Maoist, wife surrender
A Maoist leader from Jharkhand, who had Rs 1.25 crore prize money on his head, surrendered before Telangana police. Oggu Burial Satwaji alias Sudhakar, originally from Nirmal district in Telangana, was a member of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) and also a member of its top decision-making body. His wife, Madhavi, too surrendered with him.
Sudhakar was a key member of the Central Military Commission, which planned and executed violent strikes against the government. For the last four years, he was in charge of Jharkhand and has been accused of being involved in several violent acts. Besides the Rs 1 crore prize announced by Jharkhand, Telangana had put Rs 25 lakh on his head.
Officials say they are compiling a list of cases pending against Sudhakar and his wife in various states, while the National Investigation Agency has also taken up some cases.
Children fast becoming maoist fighters , India Today , May 8,2017
Left-wing extremism has killed 14,869 people since 1980
Bharti Jain, TNN Oct 22, 2013
NEW DELHI: Left-wing extremism, which afflicts several states, has killed a whopping 14,689 people, including 11,742 civilians and 2,947 security personnel, since 1980.
However, the 4,638 fatal casualties on the Naxalites' side were just one-third of the killings carried out by them over the last three decades.
The silver lining, however, is that the trends of Naxal violence are showing a steady decline in killings since 2010. As many as 198 civilians were done to death by Maoists in 2013 (until September 30), far lower than the 300 civilian killings during 2012.
Even the security personnel were better off in 2013, recording 88 fatal casualties as compared to 114 in 2012.
The number of Naxalites neutralized too fell from 74 last year to 52 until end of this September.
Maximum security personnel (317) were killed in 2009, while 2010, with 720 civilian killings, was the worst year for civilians.
Naxalites bore the brunt of counter-killings by the security forces in 1998, losing 296 cadres that year.
A major turnaround in Naxal violence was seen in the year 2001, when security personnel killings increased from a two-digit figure to three-digit figure.
Civilian killings witnessed a major jump in the year 1990 and have fallen from a high of 720 in 2010 to 198 till September 30 this year.
Though the Naxalites carried out a major attack in Darbha Ghati, Chhattisgarh, in May 2013, targeting a Congres convoy and killing at least three top party leaders and two dozen others, there has been a lull in their activities of late.
Officials say such a lull is not unusual during monsoon. However, with the poll scene hotting up in Chhattisgarh, the CPI(Maoist) is reportedly campaigning in the Bastar region asking the local tribals to boycott the election.
The Union home ministry fears landmine attacks, targeting of polling parties and Central para-military personnel as they access polling booths in Naxal-infested interiors, and firing attacks on choppers ahead of and during the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh scheduled for November 11. All Maoist-hit areas are going to polls during this phase.
2012/ Early 2013
Jharkhand records highest Naxal violence in 2012
Bharti Jain, TNN Apr 20, 2013
NEW DELHI: Jharkhand not only fared as the state with the highest incidence of Naxal violence in the first quarter of this year, but it also further consolidated its lead over Chhattisgarh with twice the incidents and thrice the deaths reported by the latter.
According to the latest statistics of Red terror compiled by the Union home ministry, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar together account for over 80% of Left-wing extremist violence across the country. Odisha has shown a significant decline in Red terror, while West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh reported nil/negligible violence.
The total number of incidents relating to Naxalism fell to 272 (until March 31, 2013) from 417 in the corresponding period of 2012, and deaths to 89 as compared to 120 in the first quarter of last year. However, the share of Jharkhand in the nationwide Naxal violence is a worrying trend. The state, which has been under the President's rule since January, accounted for over 40% of the countrywide incidents and over 58% of the deaths in the first three months of this year.
Chhattisgarh, which was the worst-hit state in terms of Red terror until Jharkhand overtook it in 2011, recorded 59 incidents and 14 deaths in first quarter of this year — down from 91 incidents and 17 deaths in the corresponding period of last year. The figures for Chhattisgarh are far lower than those in Jharkhand, which reported 118 incidents and 52 deaths between January and March, 2013.
Of the 52 people who died due to Naxal violence in Jharkhand, 37 were civilians (of which 14 were killed after being branded 'police informers') and 25 from the security forces. Though the figures are lower this year as compared to 2012, Chhattisgarh showed higher civilian killings (up from 6 to12).
However, to give the counter-Naxal forces credit, killings of Maoists by the security forces rose to 18 in the first quarter of 2013 from 14 in the corresponding period of last year. Of these, most Naxalite killings were in Chhattisgarh (8); followed by Maharashtra (6) and Jharkhand (3).
Arrests of Naxalites were up from 107 to 120 in Jharkhand, from 52 to 82 ( Andhra Pradesh) and from 83 to 100 (Chhattisgarh). While arms snatching dipped to five in the first three months of 2013 from 26 in the corresponding period of last year, arms recoveries rose from 149 to 167, of which 60 were from Jharkhand alone.
Nationwide police encounters with Naxalites rose to 55 — from 46 last year — till March 31.
October 2016: Ramgarh
The Hindu, November 6, 2016
Villagers remain traumatised by the decimation of Maoists in police firing by Greyhounds, which is a special force of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and undertakes highly risky operations against Naxalists.
The villagers remember how the Greyhounds swooped down on the Maoists. It was 5 a.m. On October 24, the day had broken and as they prepared for the day’s farming activities, the still air resounded with the cracking sound of rifles firing.
This was not the rifle sounds they were used to, the one or two rounds of fire Maoists occasionally let off. This was different. It was loud, insistent, as though a hundred rifles were firing at the same time.
“We immediately rushed back to our homes and lay sprawled on the floor and did not move for the next five or six hours, as the cold fear of death gripped us," said a Ramgarh villager.
He did not wish to be identified, neither did the other villagers who are still recovering from the Greyhound blitzkrieg, 10 days later.
No place to hide
Some ran into the village seeking refuge. A villager recalls how, as they cowered prone on the ground inside the mud hut, among the utensils, the Maoist as well, with the Greyhounds in pursuit.
They recalled how on the evening of October 23, the Maoists went calling on the neighbouring villages, seeking about half a dozen able bodied men, who, armed with bows and arrows would provide logistical support to Maoists. The underlying hope was that the adivasis would later venture to sign up as Maoists as well. Some 15 or 16 men had been taken to the camp.
No one had seen the Greyhounds. They had come through the forests, not taking the narrow, beaten path unusable in the rains, reached the hill overlooking the Maoist camp that began where the gradient began, took up positions, and waited for the day to break. From up the hill they had a clear line of fire. They could pick their targets, take them out one by one. Some of the dead must have been brushing their teeth when the bullets started coming.
While the police declared that 30 Maoists were killed, the latter in a letter identified 27 of them. According to local villagers, about 17 locals had been taken away by the Maoists for support. While nine were from Dakapadar village, six were from Bachilipadar and two from Kajuriguda village. Of these, only three from Bachilipadar have returned. One was accounted for as dead. His body was found in a culvert five days after he had died, when Maoists came to the village to do an aftermath assessment. The dead man was identified as being from Bachilipadar. The whereabouts of as many as 13 villagers is not known.
After the shootingm villagers from all the surrounding villages met but decided not to inform the police. “We are in a state of confusion. We do not know whether they are alive or in police custody or the Maoists have taken them,” said a villager from Beijingi, where the meeting was held. Not surprising, for in these parts where bullets can come from any direction, and sometimes you can’t tell who is doing the shooting.
1980-2014: Death toll
Jan 22 2015
12,062 have been killed in Naxal violence since 1980: RTI
In reply to an RTI query, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has revealed that a total of 12,062 civilians have been killed in Naxal violence till now since 1980. The detail was given in reply to a question filed under RTI (Right to Information) rules by a Meerut-based activist. Interestingly, when the Naxalite movement began in India, only three states were involved -Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. But by 2014, eight states had got dragged into it.
While in 1980, 70 people had died in the violence, in 2010 the number was a far higher 720.The reply also mentions that 3,078 security personnel were injured in Naxal-related violence in the last 34 years. MHA, however, did not disclose the actual number of security personnel dead in the same period.
Lokesh Khurana, who had filed the RTI query on December 4, 2014, had asked for information on 10 points. “I had asked information on various points that included the number of citizens killed in the last 34 years, number of security personnel killed, administrative efforts made to restrain Naxalites, reasons for the rise and spread of the Naxalite movement, the annual expenditure incurred on security measures and operations in Naxalite-affected areas. The ministry only gave the details on the number of civilian deaths and security personnel injured.”
2002-2017 : Fatalities
2010-17: incidents of violence
[13,796 civilians killed in J&K since start of militancy: MHA The Times of India 19 April 2018]
As per annual report of the Union home ministry for 2017-18 released on Wednesday, incidents of violence due to leftwing extremism have dipped since NDA came to power. Between 2014 and 2017, a total 2,428 incidents of Maoist violence and 1,081 deaths were recorded, which marks a significant fall from 6,524 incidents and 4,136 resultant deaths recorded from 2010 to 2013 when UPA was in the saddle.
“An overall 20% reduction in violent incidents (1,136 to 908) and 33.8% reduction (397 to 263) in LWE-related deaths in 2017 as compared to 2013 has been reported. In comparison to 2016, 2017 saw a decline of 13.4% in incidents of violence and 5.4% in resultant deaths,” the report states. In J&K, the most prominent change has been the 42% rise in number of terrorists killed. At 213, the figure was the highest in past five years.
The Hindu, September 11, 2015
29 April, 2015
Maoists torch passenger bus in Chhattisgarh
20 April, 2015
Maoists kill seven STF jawans in Chhattisgarh
19 April, 2015
» Civilians biggest casualty of Naxal violence
» The rebels strike back
» Chhattisgarh: The bloodiest battle
14 April, 2015
» Cops ignore SOPs, walk into ambush
» We had no back-up, says injured jawan
» Third Maoist attack in 72 hours: four policemen killed in Bastar
13 April, 2015
STF acted on its own: Bastar IG
31 March, 2015
Maoist killed, CoBRA commando injured in Chhattisgarh encounter
28 February, 2015
Meteoric rise of two Maoists poses new challenge for security forces
26 January, 2015
Maoists damage vehicle, block roads in Bastar
21 January, 2015
Two constables injured in Maoist attacks
20 January, 2015
2 security personnel injured in Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh
9 January, 2015
Chhattisgarh police recover video clip showing Naxals training to gun down choppers
3 January, 2015
Two CoBRA jawans injured in Chhattisgarh blast
25 December, 2014
Sukma ambush was answer to Operation Green Hunt: Maoists
8 December, 2014
We are shown as surrendered Maoists: Sukma villagers
7 December, 2014
Sukma encounter: ‘CRPF teams deviated from planned route’
2 December, 2014
14 CRPF men die in Maoist strike
28 November, 2014
Maoists fired at IAF copter
27 November, 2014
15 Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh encounter, claims CRPF
24 November, 2014
Maoists laid a “trap” for the choppers in Bastar
22 November, 2014
» IAF gunner injured as Maoists open fire on rescue chopper » 10 jawans injured in Maoist attack
9 November, 2014
Bastar bandh: Maoists damage public property
18 October, 2014
Maoists kill an ailing policeman in Bastar
29 September, 2014
Singing for change in Chhattisgarh
6 September, 2014
CRPF suspends 17 men for inaction during Chhattisgarh anti-naxal operation
20 August, 2014
Maoists, police indulge in propaganda warfare in Bastar
4 August, 2014
Civilians killed in Bastar encounter, say Maoists
30 July, 2014
»11 Maoists killed in Bastar encounter
» One Maoist killed, 13 arrested in Bastar
7 July, 2014
Two COBRA commandos injured in Bastar encounter
28 May, 2014
Three Maoists arrested in Dantewada district
2015: Decline in Naxal activities
The Times of India, Oct 03 2015
CRPF targets `informer' network to fight Naxals
The Central Reserve Police Force is targeting the `informer' network of Maoists in villages, instead of conducting major combing operations and sending troops in large numbers inside the jungle, an exercise which is bearing fruits for the force. The paramilitary force is engaged largely in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and other states for anti-naxal operations. The strategy `intelligence based tactical operations' deployed against the informers has resulted in a decline in violence and casualties on the CRPF's side, and looting of their arms ammunitions has also come down drastically this year.
“We go inside the naxal den with a purpose now after having specific inputs about the presence of a particular group or leader. The basic advantage is that we keep engaging and surprising naxals regularly so they don't get time to react,“ said a senior CRPF official.
The officer added that CRPF's own intelligence has picked up substantially and it has better coordina tion with other intelligence agencies now.
The CRPF has also noticed a new trend where naxalites from areas like Odisha are coming forward to surrender -something which did not happen previously . The figures suggest that 377 naxalites have surrendered this year till now in all the naxal-affected states. 283 Maoists had laid down arms in 2014.
The new approach has shown positive results. According to latest figures, the CRPF has lost only four personnel this year as compared to 50 casualties in 2014.Similarly , CRPF has lost only one pistol this year while it lost 31 armsammunitions in 2014. The loss of arms ammunition was a major concern for security forces.
Asserting that the naxal problem may be solved in the next few years if oper ations and development of the region continue hand in hand, an officer said that now “only 500-600 hardcore naxals are present in Chhattisgarh“. The state is India's worst area hit by left-wing extremism.
In desperation, CRPF officials said, the naxals are now targeting the jungle tracks as well as places where CRPF and other state security personnel walk.“Earlier, they only placed IEDs on the roads to attack contingents or destroy larger vehicles,“ said the officer.
Meanwhile, CRPF has also written to MHA to bring in a mechanism to have barcoding for armsammunitions and chemicals used for explosives, so that they can be traced back to the place they were smuggled from.“This will help in stopping pilferage of explosives to naxal areas,“ said the officer.
2016: More Naxals killed than Jawans
`More Naxals Died Than Jawans In 2016'
A silver lining is emerging from the country's red corridor. Infested with the Left-wing extremist (LWE) violence till 2015, the corridor has seen a significant drop in the number of civilian and security forces' casualties.
According to a report by the home ministry , for the first time in nine years, the number of civilian and security personnel's casualties is less than that of the extremists belonging to Naxal and Maoist groups.
In 2016 so far, while 200 LWEs have been eliminated, the number of central forces personnel killed was 59, says the report. It further says that there has been a dip of 34% in the kill ing of security force personnel while the civilian casualty has gone down by 27% in the corridor spread in nearly 100 districts of 10 states and connected to Nepal through the eastern rim of the country.
“I am confident that LWEs would further be checked. These extremists would have to either give up their armed struggle or face drastic action,“ home minister Rajnath Singh told TOI.
The ministry status report reveals that in the past decade, 5,967 persons were killed by armed insurgents and extre mists owing allegiance to the outlawed Maoists and Naxal outfits, out of which 1,743 were the security force personnel and 4,224 civilians. But in the past two years there has been a decline in the deaths of civilians and police personnel.
In 2014, 310 security force personnel were killed while in 2015 it came down to 226. In the same period, the death toll of civilians has come down to 168 from 222. Contrary to this, there has been a 41% rise in the killing of LWEs.
2014-17: decline in violence
Naxal violence claims 12,000 lives in 20 yrs
Govt: Violence Down By 25% In Last 3 Years As many as 12,000 people have lost their lives in Maoist violence over the last two decades, including 2,700 personnel of the security forces. According to a statistics prepared by the home ministry, those killed include 9,300 civilians who were either murdered by the Naxals, after being labelledas `police informers', or were caught in the crossfire and became victims.
However, the violence perpetrated by the Naxals has declined by 25% in the last three years, notwithstanding occasional reverses suffered by the security forces. Casualties to security forces also dropped by as much as 42% during May 2014-April 2017 as compared to May 2011-April 2014, a home ministry official said.
The April 24 assault on a CRPF road-opening party that claimed lives of 25 personnel was the deadliest since the April 2010 attack in Dantewada, also in Chhattisgarh, in which 76 personnel were killed.
The elimination of Naxal cadres rose by a sharp 65% and the the number of extremists surrendering recorded an increase of 185%, the official said.
The home ministry officials said currently , 90% of Maoist activity was limited to 35 districts, though they have a hold over pockets in 68 districts in 10 states.
To tackle the menace of left-wing extremism, the central government has launched the `National Policy and Action Plan' comprising security, development and ensuring rights and entitlements of the local communities. Under this plan, as many as 307 fortified police stations were constructed in Naxal-hit areas in last three years.
Besides, 1,391 km roads were constructed in some of the most difficult areas under the road requirement plan phase-I. A total of 5,412 km of additional roads were approved for construction in nine Naxal-hit areas at a cost of Rs 11,725 crore.
While 2,187 mobile towers were installed for improving telephone connectivity in re mote areas, 2,882 more are in the process of installation.
Altogether 358 new banks were opened, 752 ATMs were installed and 1,789 post offices were approved for opening in these Maoist-affected states as part of the government's plans to improve financial inclusion in 35 worst hit districts.
The home ministry has already approached the finance ministry for additional funds for extension of several development schemes which were executed in Naxal-hit states.
The security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme, special infrastructure scheme (SIS), integrated action plan (IAP) and a few other schemes will be extended for a few more years if the finance ministry's approval is received, the official said. PTI
2016: Violence by Maoists down 25%
Home minister Rajnath Singh told the consultative committee on home affairs that violent incidents due to left-wing extremism had declined by 25.6% this year as compared to corresponding period of 2016.
Some opposition members, however, cited the heavy casualties suffered by CRPF in two Maoist attacks at Sukma this April to question if the counter-Naxal forces were properly equipped in terms of training, weaponry and technological aids.
Singh, while addressing the consultative committee meeting convened to discuss LWE-related issues, shared that Maoist violence had steadily declined since 2010, with incidents down by 53% and deaths down 72% between 2010 and 2016. He out lined the government's initiatives both on the security and development front to combat left-wing extremism, particularly in strongholds like Abujmarh region of Chhattisgarh.
Maoists have killed one civilian every two days this year, most of them tribals branded “police informers“. The majority of the victims were tortured before being killed, with a few cases of beheadings in Chhattisgarh similar to those carried out by the Islamic State terror group.
At least 21 incidents have been reported from across Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha of CPI (Maoist) cadres blasting the offices of local contractors and targeting their staff.
The districts that reported the highest number of civilian killings, include Sukma (8); Narayanpur and Gadchiroli (7); Kanker and Malkangiri (5); and Chatra (4). In all, Naxalites had killed 62 civilians by April 30, 2017 -of these, at least 30 were executed by `Janatana sarkars' or kangaroo courts as “instant punishment“. April has been the bloodiest month, with 21 killings, followed by 16 in February , 13 in January and 12 in March. Incidentally, April was also the month 25 CRPF personnel were martyred in a Maoist ambush in Sukma.
Interestingly , local Maoists were found to have murdered civilians largely to exact revenge for old family disputes or to settle personal scores, even though they masked the killings as punishment for `police informers’.
After most killings, Maoists leave behind notes warning local tribals of “similar consequences“ if they work as informers for counter-Naxalite forces. In the last week of April, one Sewa Ram Himachi was killed by the local area committee of CPI (Maoist) in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, and a hand-written note left beside his body announced that he was being offered Rs 2,000 per month for persuading Naxalite cadres to surrender, reporting on their movements and hideouts, and training other police informers. The note further warned tribals that they should not be swayed by monetary incentives to turn police informers, as that would cost them their “precious lives“.
‘Naxalites use IEDs to avoid ‘face-to-face’ combat’: 2018
The IED attack by Naxals on a CRPF vehicle, which led to the death of nine personnel in Sukma on Tuesday afternoon, happened in a territory which was ‘uncharted’ by any security force till now. But recently the CRPF had opened permanent camps there to carry out coordinated, intelligence based ‘surgical strikes’ against the red ultras.
In the last one month, CRPF is learnt to have opened four to five permanent camps in three Naxal hotbedsthe1,200 square km long Bastar-Sukma region, 2,000 sq km AOB (Andhra Odisha border) and the 4,500 sq km Abujmaad forest area. The reason for the new camps was that the force didn’t want its troops to travel several kilometres back to headquarters after operations or area domination exercises.
On Tuesday too, CRPF’s elite CoBRA commandos had averted an ambush around 8 am in Palodi area, which is close to Andhra-Telangana border, but another team of 212th battalion, which was moving in a convoy of motorcycles and two MPVs, was targeted using an IED.
The primary investigation suggests that Naxals used around 50 kgs of explosives to trigger the blast which was triggered from a distance. Maoist commander Hidma and his PLGA (Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army) battalion number 1 is suspected to be behind the attack on Tuesday, which comes exactly a year after 12 CRPF men were killed in a similar ambush in Sukma last year.
Officials said that new CRPF camps inside the deep jungle and inability to cause damage to security forces in firing ambushes has “frustrated” the Naxals, hence they are using IEDs to target the troops.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, director general, CRPF, who had returned from Chhattisgarh on Tuesday morning itself, told TOI that “Naxals have been restricted to a certain jungle area and our troops are entering their den. Naxals know they cannot take on us face to face any more so they are using bombs to target vehicles on road”.
The attack on Border Security Force team in Kilenar village area on March 7 was also triggered by IED in which two BSF officers including an assistant commandant were killed. Other CRPF officers claimed that the new camps inside the jungle have been adequately stocked with arms and ammunition, mini-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for reconnaissance, rations and medicines, making the Naxals ‘jittery’.
Gadchiroli encounters/ 2018
‘Gadchiroli encounters were fake’
The AP Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) has demanded that the Maharashtra government register a murder case against the C60 commandos and Gadchiroli SP for involving in the encounters happened at Boria Kasnasur and Nainar of Bhamragarh tehsil of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra on April 22 and 23.
A group of activists, who belong to Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers and Women Against State Repression and Sexual Violence formed into a fact-finding committee (FCF) had visited the villages in Gadchiroli between May 5 and 7.
Addressing a press conference, CLC AP State general secretary Ch Chandrasekhar and one of the members in the FCF said that the C-60 police and CRPF surrounded the Maoists on all sides and opened fire indiscriminately by using sophisticated weapons like Under Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGL) with an intention to kill them. ‘’How can it be possible for the police personnel to survive without injuries in the encounter with the Maoists,’’ Sudhakar questioned.
The other demands of the FCF include halting of Operation Green Hunt and initiation of legal action against the police for their indifferent attitude towards the victims, moving away of paramilitary C60 police camps from Gadchiroli district and withdrawal of stay imposed by the Supreme Court over the verdict given by High Court Full Bench in 2009 to stop the encounter murders.
“Commandos pocketed ₹6cr, killed Naxals who led them to the money
A 40-member fact-finding committee has alleged that security forces pocketed a substantial amount of cash running into a few crores after the April 22-23 Gadchiroli encounters, which claimed the lives of 40 Maoists. Sources said the money belonged to the Aheri operational command and amounted to at least Rs 6 crore.
The committee said the C-60 commandos forced Maoists’ divisional committee member Vasudev Atram alias Nandu, Perimili Dalam member Kartick Uikey and their aides to accompany them from Boriya-Kasnasur forest and point out the money ‘dumps’.
“We had dug out the empty containers after the place was shown to us by Nainer villagers. Nandu and others are likely to have shown more such ‘dumps’ before they reached this spot. In all probability, they were killed after the last ‘dump’. Villagers told us that the commandos had emptied the containers and buried them back,” said V Raghunath, a Hyderabad HC lawyer, who was part of the committee.
The empty containers were brought to Gadchiroli SP Abhinav Deshmukh’s notice by the committee. “Deshmukh has assured us that it would be investigated but we have our doubts,” Raghunath said. Deshmukh denied that the committee had mentioned the missing cash to him. “We got about 35 detonators and other materials from the encounter site,” he said.
2018- Mar 2019
QRT Personnel Were In Pvt Car, Driver Too Killed
Fifteen Gadchiroli police personnel and the driver of a private vehicle they were travelling in were blown up when Maoists triggered an IED blast at Lendhri nullah close to the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border on Wednesday afternoon in the
worst attack on security forces in the area in 10 years.
The quick response team (QRT) personnel from Kurkheda police station, over 150km from Nagpur, were headed towards Dadapur village near Purada, where the Maoists had torched dozens of vehicles of a Chhattisgarh-based road construction company earlier in the day, when the incident took place.
It came as a blow on Maharashtra’s foundation day because the incident seemed planned — sources said the IED may have been placed under the road tarmac months ago — and came days after the extremists ended their “martyrs’ week” on April 28 to mark the killing of 40 cadres, many of them women, by security forces on April 22-23 last year. In fact, they had attacked two parties of C-60 commandos earlier this week in Etapalli district, but the commandos managed to rip through the ambush and gunned down senior Maoist woman commander Ramko Narote and another woman extremist.
Cong, NCP ask Maharashtra chief minister to step down
Maharashtra Police chief Subodh Jaiswal, speaking in Mumbai, vowed a “befitting” response to the “cowardly” attack, but seemed to rule out an intelligence failure. “This is not proper to say it was due to an intelligence failure. It’s a sad incident… We will fight back, we will take on the Naxalites. If more police personnel are needed, we will deploy immediately.” Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao cancelled a reception and cultural programme scheduled for Maharashtra Day at Raj Bhavan.
CM Devendra Fadnavis also promised a fightback, tweeting, “The police will not lose their morale, in fact (they’ll) fight this menace with more force.” But state Congress chief Ashok Chavan and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar called for the CM to step down, saying he, as home minister, had neglected law and order in the Naxaliteaffected areas of the state. On April 11, the Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency had recorded the highest voting in the state in the LS elections, ignoring a boycott call by Maoists.
The arson and subsequent blast on Wednesday are believed to be the handiwork of Maoists of Company 4, Kurkheda-Korchi-Khobramenda and Tippagarh dalams, and other formations under the North Gadchiroli division. After torching the vehicles of the road construction firm, the Maoists seemed to have lain in wait for police. A convoy of three vehicles left Kurkheda for Dadapur, about 40km away, and the first two vehicles, carrying, among others, the subdivisional police officer, cleared the spot. The third vehicle, a private MUV carrying the cops, was blown up.
DIG (Naxal range) Ankush Shinde said an inquiry will take place. “We will take stock of the situation,” he said.