Chhattisgarh’s Deputy Chief Minister, Vijay Patel, has recently remarked that “the Vishnu Deo Sai-led government is open to talks with the left-wing insurgents,” mainly represented by the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The announcement by the home minister of the Sai government has come amidst the security personnel’s persistent efforts to firm their base in the core zones of the extremists.
Recently, the Sukma police, along with security forces, have established as many as four security camps in the core Maoist zone of Chhattisgarh in the last three months, according to police via a social media post. The said camps have been opened in the regions earlier considered a no-go zone for the forces.
According to the information received, the latest camp among them has been opened in the Murkurajkonda of Duled under Chintagufa Police station limits of Maoist-infested Sukma district in the first week of January itself.
The said camp has been opened with the efforts of District Reserve Guard (DRG), Bastar Fighter, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), Central Reserve Police Force and the district police force, which will operate as a base for the security personnel in the Maoist bastion.
In a briefing about the development, Superintendent of Police (SP) Sukma, Kiran Chauvhan, said that this area has been facing the ramifications of naxalism for a long time, due to which even basic necessities have not reached the residents.
“We will bring development to the region by first winning the hearts of the villagers, which will pave the way for basic necessities like education, drinking water, electricity and roads to the residents of Duled and nearby regions,” added SP Chauvhan.
Forward operating bases in core insurgency zones
It is worth mentioning here that the security forces in recent years have established a number of Forward Operating Bases (FOB) also identified as security camps, to boost their presence in the core insurgency zones of the State.
This includes the opening of security camps in Kodre between Jagargunda and Bijapur, an erstwhile Maoist bastion inaccessible to government officials and security forces since long.
The development occurred after the union government in its second term gave a nod to intensify counter offensive operation against the insurgents in the Southern Bastar region, a stronghold of the extremist since decades.
The area is known for the frequent movement of the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army, armed wing of the outlawed CPI Maoist battalion no 01, headed by the notorious Madavi Hidma.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PLGA battalion no. 01 is considered the most feared battalion of the extremists and has its base on the interstate border of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
It is assumed that the opening of a security camp in the region will not only boost the development in the surroundings but will also help win back the trust of the residents, inspiring them to choose a life of dignity in the main stream.
Additionally, the security forces, along with the district administration, are also running schemes such as Poona Narkom (New morning) and Lone Varatu ( An appeal of homecoming in Gondi dialect) with the aim of inspiring local youths who have been brainwashed and are engaged in guerilla warfare.
Union home minister’s remarks
It is to be noted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced at a recent public gathering that the war against left-wing extremism (LWE) across the country is in its final stages and the country will be free from the danger of left-wing insurgency in a year’s time.
The home minister’s remarks came after security forces officials in Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar on separate occasions disclosed that the forces have shaken the morale of the extremists in respective states and that the left-wing insurgency is taking its last breath in States such as Odisha, Bihar and Jahrkhand.
Taking it further, Inspector General (IG) of Police, Bastar Range, Sundarraj P while interacting with the media recently, had also asserted that the Maoist outfit will have a difficult time ahead as not only their supply network has been cut off by the forces lately, but their recruitment drives have also been hit badly.
“The routes like Basaguda to Jagargunda, Chintalnaar, Kistaram, Chintagufa Barasore, which were earlier disrupted by the extremists, have been re-opened after the establishment of security camps while the banned outfit has also been facing a serious leadership crisis as many of their top commanders or leaders have either been killed in encounters or have died due to illnesses”, added IG Bastar.
Deployment of paramilitary personnel in Chhattisgarh
Furthermore, the union government has recently also hinted that around 3000 personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF), currently deployed in the Maoist-affected regions of Odisha, will be moved and deployed in the core insurgency-hit zones of Chhattisgarh.
The deployment will be followed by the repositioning of another three battalions of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) consisting of a similar number of personnel in the same region, suggesting the government’s intent to put more boots on the ground in these areas.
It is evident from the aforementioned strategic moves that the government is trying to encircle the extremists in their own citadel alongside providing them an opportunity to engage in the talk at the same time, if the latter opt to surrender arms.
It looks like the incumbent union government is determined to find an amicable solution to the issue of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) holding its last bastion in Bastar, either through talks or by offensive campaigns, though what will unfold in the process is still in the womb of future.