The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is all set to celebrate its armed wing, People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), 23rd anniversary from December 2. The week-long celebration, which will commence from December 2-8, 2023..
During the week-long exercise, the Maoists usually undertake attacks on the security camps, civilians, and government establishments, disrupting transportation routes such as roadways and railway tracks in Maoist-affected regions of the country.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Maoists set ablaze a Jio mobile tower in the insurgency-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, dropping leaflets about the upcoming PLGA anniversary.
In the leaflet dropped on the spot, the extremists have urged the masses to celebrate the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), week between December 2-8, 2023. The Ultras in the leaflet have also appealed to the masses to intensify the guerilla warfare and so-called class struggle. The leaflet recovered from the spot was dropped by the Purvi Bastar Division Committee of the banned CPI (Maoist).
People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army
The PLGA was founded on December 2, 2000 on the first death anniversary of three of their Central Committee members who were killed in an encounter in Koryuu of undivided Andhra Pradesh. Later on, it became the armed wing of the outlawed CPI Maoist, which came into existence in 2004 after the merger of People’s War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Center of India.
Considered one of the most dreaded terrorist outfits in the world, the CPI Maoist’s PLGA draws its inspiration from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and aims to overthrow the democratic government of Bharat by the means of violence to install an authoritarian Communist government.
It is estimated that at its peak, the guerilla army had a capacity of around 12,000 armed cadres, which has been reduced gradually in recent years. According to various sources, it is estimated that the current strength of the PLGA is around 8000 armed cadres, while the strength of the militia members are estimated to be between 35 to 40 thousands.
The guerilla army consists mainly of three forces, categorised as the main force, the secondary force, and the base force, and is controlled by the Central Military Commission of the CPI (Maoist), answerable only to the Central Committee and the Polit Bureau, the highest body of the Ultras.
Further, the PLGA composition consists of companies, platoons, Special Action Teams (SAT) or the assassination squads and intelligence units. The guerilla force has a significant number of female cadres which makes up more than half of its strength.
The cadres of the PLGA are mostly recruited from the insurgency-hit remote regions of the country where most of them are recruited and brainwashed at an early age. Additionally, first hand accounts of a number of surrendered female cadres also suggest forceful recruitment and exploitation of the women cadres in the organisation.
Technical capabilities and armoury
The PLGA is believed to possess a number of sophisticated weapons and ultramodern equipment, including high-quality VHF/UHF for communication. The banned outfit also possesses a large quantity of pressure IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and grenades.
The guerilla army, which is operational mostly in the unexplored remote regions of the country, has also developed capabilities to make country-made rocket launches and is believed to possess a large number of BGL/UBGL rocket launches.
The extremist outfit also possesses satellite phones and laptops and is believed to be working towards the development of their own radio stations and communication system.
Violence unleashed by PLGA
It is pertinent to mention here that the Maoist armed wing is directly responsible for the attacks, brutal killings and assassinations of the security forces, civilians, and political representatives carried out by the Ultras in the last 20 years.
According to the figures available, more than 11,000 people, including around 3900 civilians, have so far perished in the brutal ongoing conflict between Mao’s men and the government of Bharat in the last two decades alone.
Details of some prominent attacks carried out by the PLGA
Rani Bodli Massacre (2007)
As many as 55 Jawans were brutally killed after around 500 Maoist cadres launched a surprise attack in the Rani Bodli security camp in Bijapur of Chhattisgarh in March 2007.
Balimela Massacre (2008)
In a well-planned attack, the Maoist terrorists launched indiscriminate fire upon the security forces returning from a combing operation near Balimela reservoir in June 2008. The ultras in the attack used rocket launchers to sink the boat of security personnel, leading to as many as 38 casualties.
Tadmetla Massacre (2010)
The brutal attack on the security forces occurred when the Maoist ambushed a combing party of the security forces in Tadmetla village near Chintalnar camp. The encounter, which lasted for hours, left a total of 76 personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) martyred in April, 2010.
Jheeram Ghati attack (2013)
The ultras carried out the infamous Jheeram Ghati attack when they launched a surprise attack on the caravan of Congress leaders on May 25, 2013, near Jheeram valley. The Maoist in the attack brutally murdered as many as 32 people, including Mahendra Karma, a tribal leader known for his anti-Maoist stand.
Burkapal Massacre (2017)
As many as 25 security personnel lost their lives after around 300 cadres of the PLGA launched a surprise attack on them near Burkapal village of Sukma district in April 2017.