STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Maoists: An Analysis

Lt General V K Ahluwalia (Retd) was Army Commander, Central Command.
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  • September 2012
    Volume: 
    36
    Issue: 
    5
    Strategic Essay

    Naxals of the Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist), better known as Maoists, characterised more than once by the Indian prime minister as the gravest threat to our internal security, have been continuously fine-tuning their strategies and tactics in order to maintain their relevance. On the other hand, the state too has been making concerted efforts by taking ‘security and development’ measures to diminish, if not altogether defeat, the challenge posed by the rebels to the Indian state.

    Lately, in March and April 2012, they have, in a repetition of their earlier tactics, abducted two Italians and a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in two separate incidents in Orissa, and the district collector (the highest civil bureaucrat of a district) of Sukma, in the neighbouring central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. 1 These abductions have attracted national and global media attention. All hostages have since returned home safely, but only after the two state governments struck deals with the respective rebel leadership. Also, even as their spatial spread has been steadily on the rise since 2001, fatalities from Maoist violence and the destruction of infrastructure have also reached fairly high levels, peaking in 2009 and 2010.

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