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Shiv P. Yadav asked: Naxals have created a Red Corridor, a narrow but contiguous strip passing through Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. What are its security implications?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: The term “red corridor” has been in usage for some time both within the media and security circles. In fact, there was a time when the Naxal influence was seen to be spreading from “Tirupati to Pashupati”. This indicated its likely spread between the two famous temples in South India and Nepal. This was at the peak of the Maoist movement in Nepal. However, as events proved, this was an exaggeration of the nature of threat. Similarly, the very concept of a “red corridor” is also an over simplification of the real threat of the Maoist challenge. The critically affected areas of the Maoist influence represent approximately 30-32 districts. Most of this falls in the Dandakaranya which include areas of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. This further includes the core area of Abhujmad (See the map given below).

    The security implications of this are:

    • The area straddles different states thereby giving the Maoists a distinct advantage.
    • The Maoists understand that interstate boundaries are fissures which can be exploited given poor coordination between state police forces.
    • The area is heavily forested and has a weak communication infrastructure which enables free movement of Maoists.
    • Pressure in one state allows easy movement into another.
    • There is little influence of routine administration in the area, which allows the Maoists to run their camps, collect taxes, extort money and conduct a virtual parallel government.
    • Differences in policies of state governments to include surrenders, talks and policing strategy are exploited by the Maoists.