Once considered a Maoist bastion, Jharkhand is now briskly becoming free from the Maoist menace, the recent surrenders and the arrests of Maoists’ top brass, in general, have not only made a huge dent to the already collapsing organisational structure of the Maoists but it has also demoralised the remaining bunch of Maoist cadres who are still holding the guns.
It all began with the arrest of Kishan da, a member of the polit bureau of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoists) in 2021, after which combing operations, raids, and targeted manhunts based on the input gathered from him has been regular exercise by the forces in the last couple of years.
Indeed in the last two and a half years, these operations backed by solid inputs have contributed immensely to the arrests of Maoist commanders, recovery of the huge cache of ammunition, arrest of middlemen, and cutting of the supply chain of Maoists, ultimately paving the way for the forces to launch special operations like Double bull and Octopus.
The success of the security forces can be better understood by the fact that ‘Budha Pahad’, a significant Maoist bastion for more than three decades, has been recently declared a Maoist free zone, undeniably the success at Budha Pahad is a significant milestone owing to the fact that it has been the citadel of Maoists top brass for years.
In addition, losing Budha Pahad has also forced many Maoist groups and their commanders to search for other safe hideouts, ultimately resulting in surrender due to a lack of familiar deserted terrains in which they could make their new bases.
Navin Yadav, Aman Ganjhu, and Abhyas Bhuiyan are a few who have chosen to lay their weapons and join the mainstream in the last month or two alone; the latest addition to the tally is of dreaded Duryodhan Mahto, aka Mithilesh Singh, a regional commander of the outlawed CPI-M who had a bounty of Rs 15 lakh on his head, Mahto a seasoned Maoist and a resident of Topchanchi of Dhanbad has a total of 104 cases pending against them.
Mahto, who surrendered before the forces on February 10, was considered a pillar of the Maoists outfit in the Budha Pahad region, whose surrender will have a devastating impact on the already weakened outfit.
Though the success at containing the Maoists’ menace has not only been confined to the surrenders of the Maoist big guns but the targeted operations resulting in arrests of Maoist commanders who led the Maoist offensive on the grounds, have also dealt a severe blow to the Maoist’s apparatus.
The situation on the ground can be better understood by the figures recently quoted by the IG (Operations) AV Homkar. In the surrender program of Mahto, Homkar said that the “Maoist menace has now been confined to a handful of districts, and a total of 1300 cadres of the outlawed outfits have been arrested in the last three years alone.
In addition to that, as many as 50 Maoists, including a dozen of commanders, have shunned the path of violence and joined the mainstream in the same period, while a total of 31 Ultras have been neutralised during different operations in the mentioned time frame, added Homkar.
In all the recent success of the forces under the direction of the Union Home Ministry, who in recent years have come up with effective campaigns like Prahar and Samadhan in the Maoist-affected region of the country, including the insurgency-hit Jharkhand can be undoubtedly termed as a major milestone in India’s war against containing the Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
Lastly, it is clear that the war against LWE is a long one, and it will take many milestones like these to completely eradicate the menace of the Red terror, though as far as Jharkhand is concerned, the success of the forces in recent years can be seen as a ray of hope…..!