Very few in the West realise just how serious India’s Maoist insurrection is becoming.
Allegedly supported by China and Pakistan, the insurgency is growing daily in half of India’s 29 states.
From Reuters India
RANI BODLI, India (Reuters) – All that remains at an outpost on the frontline of India’s war on Maoists are charred belongings, dried blood in the dirt and stray dogs scavenging for food and body parts after rebels killed 55 police.
Last week’s attack on more than 70 police and tribal militia members at the remote post of Rani Bodli was one of the deadliest in decades and testament to Maoists’ military punch as they forge a swathe of liberated territory in Chhattisgarh.
Hundreds of Maoists attacked the post in a pre-dawn raid. Tribal villagers who could have warned of the attack were silent — either through fear or support for rebels –as the attackers crept up to the base’s walls.
The insurgents then bombarded the post with grenades and homemade bombs made from lunchboxes and stormed the post with bayonets and knives.
Chhattisgarh and its southern forests are a stronghold of some 4,000-5,000 Maoists, known as Naxals or Naxalites.
They are part of a national insurgency that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said is the biggest internal security threat to India since Independence.
Since starting their rebellion in the eastern district of Naxalbari 40 years ago, the Maoists, now estimated at up to 20,000 fighters nationwide, have spread to nearly half of India’s 29 states.
In the last year the rebels have robbed mines of explosives, attacked convoys and targeted village leaders for assassination. But this attack was their most brazen yet.
“They are trying to create their national command centre here,” said Ajai Sahni of the Institute for Conflict Management, a New Delhi think-tank. “There want to make this their first liberated zone.”
Locals who have visited Maoist camps deep in the forest — covering 12,000 square km (4,600 square miles) — say they enjoy power generators, television and DVD players.
Rani Bodli is on the edge of what locals call the “red zone“, which begins across a river. The post was built to show police were still in command.
But the attack underscored the region’s poor infrastructure and ill-equipped police.
From Naxal Terror Watch
PATNA: The recent killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahato in Jharkhand and 54 policemen in Chattisgarh prove that Maoists are now fully prepared for the “people’s war“.
The official statement, signed by CPI(Maoist) general secretary Ganapathi and released on February 19, after successful completion of CPI(Maoist) 9th Party Congress, had clearly indicated that Maoists were preparing for big attacks.
The Party Congress, termed as “Unity Congress“, was held in January-February, 2007, somewhere in the forest area along Orissa-Jharkhand border.
According to the CPI(Maoist) official press communique, the Unity Congress resolved to advance the people’s war throughout the country, further upgrade its Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) to regular People’s Liberation Army (PLA), deepen its mass base and wage a militant mass movement against the “neo-liberal policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation pursued by ruling classes on the dictates of imperialists.”
According to the release, the Party Congress, the highest decision-making body of the party, was attended by 100 senior Maoist leaders from 16 states. The conclave re-elected Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi as party general secretary.
According to reports reaching here, Ganapathi, while addressing the hardcore Maoist leaders from across the country, had said, “No more hit and run. Now, time has come to spread in the towns, identify specific targets and attack them with precision.”