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Nishant asked: Why Chhattisgarh has become the core of Naxal-related violence specifically in the last one decade?

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  • P.V. Ramana replies: The Maoists started entering Bastar in present-day southern Chhattisgarh in 1982. In terms of geographical area, Bastar is a little larger than Kerala and slightly smaller than Haryana. At that time, Bastar was a single district, but now comprises seven districts.

    What began as a Forest Committee gradually grew into the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee – the fiercest battle ground today in the country. The Maoists started forming squads, divisional committees and mass organisations and strengthened themselves. In some parts of Bastar, the Maoists also run a parallel government known as Janatana Sarkar.

    All the while, the Maoists were not confronted by the security forces due to lack of capabilities and political will. However, things began to change since the mid-1990s. While the State government began to train and equip its police, the Union government began to deploy Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). The CAPFs gradually started to penetrate Maoist strongholds and engaged (are engaging) them in stiff gun battles. As a result, there have been fatalities on both sides. Also, the Maoists increased their armed resistance, as well as indulged in retributory killings of civilians branding them as police informers or helping the government and its agencies. Thus, the over-all fatalities began to increase. But this has seen a downward trend over the past few years owing to increased pressure from the security forces and the Maoists themselves beating a tactical retreat. Further, the various development initiatives launched by the government has begun to show results. Resultantly, the Maoists are losing ground and are also not able to expand their area of influence.

    Posted on February 27, 2018