The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is celebrating its foundation week across several states in the country where the Left Wing insurgency still has its footprints. The dreaded Maoist outfit which is among the top ten ferocious terrorist organisations in the world is celebrating its foundation week from September 21.
During the week-long celebration, the Maoist organisation along with its frontal units including its dreaded armed wing, People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) are more prone to targeting and attacking security forces establishments and other significant segments of the government.
Often, the Maoist outfit also targets and harms railway tracks during their foundation week due to which trains have been called off between Dantewada and Kirandul in the core Maoist zone of Bastar in Chhattisgarh while security has been beefed up in other regions affected by the Left Wing Extremism.
The Maoist movement in India
The Maoist movement in India also referred to as the Naxal insurgency started with the incident of Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967 where a peasant revolt against the landlords turned violent resulting in the death of few peasants and policemen. Later on, the said movement was hijacked by a few far left leaders such as Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal, who later laid the foundation of a pan India movement in favor of the revolution.
The movement gained prominence in its initial stages and was endorsed openly by the authoritarian communist regime of China who termed the Naxalbari incident as a spring of thunder. However soon the Maoist movement lost its initial hype and began to dismantle due to serious ideological differences between its leaders which ultimately resulted in the split of the movement.
After a decade of uncertainty as many as two groups namely People’s war group in Andhra and the Maoist Communist Centre emerged on the national platform and claimed the legacy of the Naxalbari movement. However soon the People’s war group founded by Kondapalli Seetharamaih which was emerging as a strong force in the southern states of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra got involved with a bloody fight for domination with the MCC group dominating in undivided Bihar and a few areas in Bengal.
The Merger and rise of CPI (Maoist)
After a decade of bloodbath and long negotiations, both the groups finally merged to establish the Communist Party of India (Maoist) on September 21, 2004. After the merger the armed wings of both the groups also collaborated to form the PLGA.
The PLGA, which is solely responsible for the killing of more than 12000 citizens including security personnel in the last two decades of its existence is controlled by the Central Military Commission of the party, which also has two other powerful bodies the Polit bureau and the Central Committee. The PLGA whose estimated strength considered to be somewhere between 9000 to 20000 draws its inspiration from the Chinese PLA and vows to convert itself as PLA after the success of the armed revolution
After the merger, the CPI Maoist with the help of the PLGA in the next decade unleashed a reign of terror and bloodbath in regions controlled by it which the party called the liberated zones in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar. On its zenith the Maoist outfit had spread its footprints in around 180 districts of the country, affecting more or less one third of the sovereign territory of the “Republic of Bharat” by crafting the infamous ‘Red Corridor’.
The extremist outfit also carried out several major attacks on the security forces such as the Tadmetla and Rani bodli massacre in Bastar of Chhattisgarh in which a total of 76 and 54 personnel were martyred respectively. The Maoist group also took responsibility for the infamous Jhiram Ghati incident which resulted in the killing of several senior leaders of the congress party.
The extremist organisations also has a number of Urban frontal groups who work in the Urban centers and assist the party’s cause by brainwashing and recruiting youths. Often these off-shoots profess a covert identity to escape legal liability.
Decline and current status of the Maoists
After over a decade of absolute domination in certain liberated zones spreaded across the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and adjoining bordering areas in Maharashtra and undivided Andhra Pradesh, the extremist outfit over the recent years has suffered major setbacks in their erstwhile strongholds in states like Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
It should be noted that the Incumbent central government after being voted to power in 2014 brought various measures to contain the insurgency in core Maoist regions like Budha Pahad of Jharkhand, Swabhiman Anchal of Odisha and Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
The persistent efforts put up by the security forces along with the lightning fast development work being carried in these erstwhile bastions of the Maoist group has ultimately forced the cadres of the prescribed outfit to retreat from regions such as Budha Pahad and Swabhiman Anchal while the forces in recent years are also making inroads in the strongest citadel of the Maoists in Bastar.
Additionally the federal security agencies in recent years have also tightened its grip on the Urban Nexus of the Maoist outfit resulting in the arrest of a few senior cadres of the banned outfit after unearthing of the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy unfolded in 2017-18.
Recently addressing a gathering in Chhattisgarh the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his speech had also announced that the war against the Naxals is in last stages and the country would be free from the menace of red terror before the upcoming general elections of 2024, suggesting a possible all out offensive against the Mao’s men.