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Analysis: Red terrorism continues in Chhattisgarh

Webdesk

WebdeskJan 15, 2022, 07:30 PM IST

Analysis: Red terrorism continues in Chhattisgarh
The nexus of the Naxalites is one of the worst headaches for Chhattisgarh and several direful incidents that took place throughout the year 2021 would showcase the ground reality (Photo Credit: Swarajya)

The Ministry of Home Affairs adopted a robust mechanism to deal with the 'Red Corridor', which is now confined to Chhattisgarh's Bastar region. It is a remarkable achievement. However, some strategic shortcomings can prevent the annihilation of the extremists.

 

Naxal activities that are still rampant in Chhattisgarh are daunting. The killing of civilians, security forces, government personnel, planting explosions and IED blasts, exchange of fire between the militants and the security forces, fatal attacks on police camps, informers are some of the major issues still haunting the adversely affected areas of Chhattisgarh.

Nonetheless, several encounters, recovery of arms and surrender of extremists have taken place to keep things under control. The nexus of the Naxalites is one of the worst headaches for Chhattisgarh. Several direful incidents that took place throughout the year 2021 would showcase the ground reality.

The chronology of the Naxal activities

Here are some of the fatal attacks by the Naxals on the government personnel and civilians.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre killed a former Sarpanch (Head of the Panchayat, village-level local self- Government institution), identified as Mainu Ram Salam (47), after accusing him of being a police informer in Pardoni village under Manpur Police Station limits in Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh on January 14. About 25-armed Maoists barged into his house in the village, dragged him out and brutally assaulted him to death. Police later recovered his body dumped on the outskirts of the village along with Maoist pamphlets, which accused the deceased of being a 'police informer'.

On January 24, Deputy Sarpanch, identified as Bajaram Korram, was killed by Maoists in Kermapal village in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh. Around a dozen Maoists reached the village, strangled him to death and fled into the forests.

Suspected Maoists killed a contractor, who was identified as Dharmendra Garg, near Koter village in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on January 25.

Two villagers identified as–Ramsay Gadve (30) and Inder Sai Mandavi (75), were abducted and later killed by Communist Party
of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres on suspicion of being 'police informers' at the Kohka Police Station limits in Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh on January 26.

The District Reserve Guard (DRG) constable, identified as Somdu Ram Poyam alias Mallesh, was hacked to death with sharp weapons by the cadre of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in Kotrapal village under Jangla Police Station limits in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on January 28. Poyam was a surrendered Maoist who had joined the DRG after giving up arms in 2014. He had gone to meet his relatives in the village where the Maoists killed him brutally in front of his family.

An ambulance driver, identified as Jairam Usendi (35), was killed by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre on suspicion of being a 'Police informer' in Tekanar village in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on January 30.

After branding a former deputy sarpanch Shatrughan Korram as 'police informer' during a kangaroo court (people's court held by the Maoists) in Temrugaon, Naryanpur District of Chhattisgarh, The CPI-Maoist cadre killed him on February 15.

A villager named Munna Verma on suspicion of being a 'police informer' in Khursipar Khurd village, Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh on February 17.

A civilian who was identified as Lakhma Kawasi (60), at Bade Gaatav village in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh was killed by
CPI-Maoist cadre on February 23. The victim was the father of a surrendered Maoist cadre - Joga Kawasi, in the said village.

The CPI-Maoist cadre hacked a Zilla Parishad member, who was identified as Budhram Kashyap (45), at Taalnar village, Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, on March 26, 2021. Maoists stormed into his home and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons, killing him instantly.

CPI-Maoist cadre killed an employee of a road contractor with a bow and arrow and set ablaze a machine engaged in construction
work at Gorgunda village in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh on April 16, 2021.

Two Policemen were found dead at Bhejji village under Bhejji Police Station limits in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh on April 16.
The bodies were of assistant constables, Dhaniram Kashyap and Punem Hadma, bearing injuries inflicted by sharp-edged weapons,
were found lying on the road on the outskirts of Bhejji village around 5 pm on April 15.

CPI-Maoist cadre killed abducted District Reserve Guard (DRG) Sub-Inspector (SI) identified as Murli Tati near Pulsum Para and
his dead body was dumped on the roadside at Pedda Para in Aidsmet, Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on April 23.

South Bastar Division Committee of CPI-Maoist claimed responsibility of DRG personnel Murli Tati in the printed leaflet, which was recovered from his dead body. The leaflet claimed that Murli Tati was killed for his work with the DRG force and killing Naxals [Left Wing Extremism (LWE)] during the encounters. Murli Tati was abducted from Palnar on the evening of April 21.

CPI-Maoist cadre killed a Police Constable identified as Vetti Bhima in the Penta village, Sukma District of Chhattisgarh, on May 11. Around five to six CPI-Maoist cadre reached the village and attacked the house of the Vetti Bhima, who tried to flee from the window, but he was chased down and assaulted with sticks before being stabbed multiple times with sharp weapons.

CPI-Maoist cadre killed a civilian identified as Pradip Sheel, supervisor and attacked an iron ore mining site in Dongar hills in Aamdai Ghati, Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on July 3. CPI-Maoist pamphlets were distributed to the workers at the construction site by Maoists before escaping into the forests.

A 32-year-old villager, Baman Poyam, was killed by CPI-Maoist cadres in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on July 12. Some unidentified Maoists abducted the victim from his house on July 11 night and later killed him with sharp weapons.

A villager identified as Mura Kudiam (50) was allegedly attacked and killed by CPI- Maoist cadres in Nukanpal village, Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on July 16.

Armed Maoists dressed as civilians surrounded him and attacked him multiple times with sharp-edged weapons and sticks in front of
villagers.

CPI-Maoist cadres allegedly killed Parshuram Bhujia (35) on suspicion that he was a 'police informer' at his native Aama Mora village, Gariabandh District of Chhattisgarh, on July 16.

A 35-year-old, identified as Keshari Sori, was allegedly killed by the CPI-Maoist cadre in Dhamtari District of Chhattisgarh on July 31.

The reason was not certain. Suspected CPI-Maoist cadres killed a 'police informer', Umesh Markam, in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on November 9. A small action team of the Katekalyan area committee of Maoists attacked Markam with sharp-edged weapons.

CPI-Maoist cadre killed a young man identified as Dinesh Noorati on the pretext of being a 'police informer' in Kanker District of
Chhattisgarh on November 11. On November 11, Maoists gathered people from three villages in a forest area in Kanker District, set up a 'Jan Adalat', and issued a warning to several young men. At the same time, Dinesh was shot dead while standing in public, claiming that he had done something wrong and was presenting his affairs to the Police, and they had evidence of it.

CPI-Maoist cadres killed the Sarpanch of Karmari village, Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh, on November 26. The Maoists, in large numbers on November 26th night, called out Sarpanch Birju Salam brutally shot him dead.

Later, posters and banners were hung in the village in support of the Maoists. Later, the Maoists also set ablaze a JCB machine working on the Prime Minister's Gram Sadak project.

A young man named Naveen was abducted and later killed by the cadre CPI-Maoist branding him 'police informer' in Sukma District
of Chhattisgarh on December 13.

Explosion set up by Naxals

Several incidents are discussed where the Naxal militants planted IED blasts and explosions in various regions of Chhattisgarh.
A jawan(trooper) of the Special Task Force (STF) was killed when a pressure Improvised Explosive Device (IED), planted by the CPI-
Maoist went off in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on February 7.

A Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) constable identified as Bankeshwar Paikra sustained splinter injuries in a blast triggered
by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre at a forest, Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on February 24.

An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) constable of the 53rd Battalion was killed when cadres of the CPI-Maoist triggered an IED blast
targeting the ITBP troopers who were returning from de-mining operation near Sonpur in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on
February 24, 2021.

A head constable of the 22nd Battalion of Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF), identified as Laxmikant Diwedi, was killed. An IED was planted by the Communist Party of India-Maoist CPI-Maoist cadre. It exploded in the Pahurnar area in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on March 4.

An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) trooper, identified as Head Constable Ramter Mangesh, was killed. An IED was planted by CPI-Maoist cadres, and it exploded during an anti-Maoist operation at Kohkameta area in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on March 5.
Five Police personnel of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) were killed and 13 others injured after CPI-Maoist cadres exploded the
bus in which they were travelling near a culvert between Kanhargaon and Kadenar villages, Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on March 23, 2021.

A trooper of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was injured when a cadre of the CPI-Maoist planted a pressure IED. It exploded on the Awapalli-Basaguda route, Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, on September 2, 2021.

Two personnel of the CRPF were injured after a pressure IED planted by CPI- Maoist went off in a forest between Murkinar and Chinnekadepal area, Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, on September 30, 2021.

An Assistant Constable of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) was injured when CPI- Maoist cadres denoted an IED in the Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on December 21, 2021.

Two workers of the Bhilai Steel Plant, identified as Sheikh Aslam and Pawan Patra, were injured when they were hit by an IED bomb planted by the CPI-Maoist cadres opposing the Raoghat Rail Project near Khodgaon village in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on December 28, 2021.

How the state is coping up

The events of fire exchange between the militants and security forces and encounters of such extremists that took place throughout the year are discussed below.

An exchange of fire took place between the Security Forces (SFs) and Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre at a forest area of Hirmagunda, Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh, on January 5, 2021.

A joint team of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), its elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) and the District Force was out on an anti-Naxal operation in the area when a group of armed rebels opened fire, prompting the SFs to retaliate.

The SFs recovered a single-barrel muzzle loading (SBML) gun, a couple of bows and arrows and a cache of materials of daily use from the spot.

A CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an exchange of fire between Security Forces (SFs) and Maoists in a forested area under Tarrem Police Station limits in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on January 19, 2021.

Two Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, identified as Kawasi Masa (30) and Muchaki Budhra (30), were arrested following an exchange of fire with Security Forces (SFs) in a forest between Dhanikortha and Kormagondi villages in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh on January 22, 2021.

A 5-kg tiffin bomb, five detonators, a Maoist uniform and other materials were recovered from the possession of the two arrested
cadres.

Security Forces (SFs) gunned down a senior Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) 'commander', Masa Muchaki, (31) in an exchange of fire in Surnaar forest near Tetam village in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on February 6.

Two cadres of the CPI- Maoist were killed in a gun battle with Security Forces (SFs) in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on March 20, 2021. A 9 mm pistol, a country-made revolver and five kilograms of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) were recovered from the spot.

At least 22 Security Force (SF) personnel were killed and 30 others injured in an encounter with the Communist Party of India-Maoist in a forest along the border between Bijapur and Sukma Districts in Chhattisgarh on April 3, 2021.

The Maoists People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Battalion was led by its 'commander' Hidma, with a total strength of nearly 250. This group of Naxals was aided by Maoists associated with the Maoist platoons of Pamed, Konta, Jagargunda and Basaguda area committees. A group of 60-80 armed Maoists led by Chandranna was also spotted in Bijapur shortly before the attack.

An exchange of fire took place between the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadre and District Reserve Guard (DRG) personnel near Malameta village in Tadoki Police Station limits in Kanker District of Chhattisgarh on April 2, 2021.

The CPI-Maoist cadre opened fire on Security Forces (SFs) in the forest and fled under forest cover in the middle of the firing.
DRG personnel recovered a rifle and some everyday items from the forest during the search after the firing stopped.

Security Forces killed a CPI-Maoist local 'military intelligence in-charge', identified as Kosam alias Kosa, in an encounter in the forested terrain of Neelawaya in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on April 20, 2021.

A pistol and a country made Bharmar, a muzzle-loading gun and three kilograms of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) were recovered from the encounter site.

The CPI-Maoist cadre, identified as Ramachandra Kati, was killed in an exchange of fire with Police Personnel in the forests of Mustalanar in the Gidam area of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on May 14, 2021.

A CPI-Maoist cadre was killed in an exchange of fire between People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres of CPI-Maoist and Police in the forests of Bengpalli, Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on May 22, 2021.

Two CPI-Maoist cadres, including a woman, were killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces (SFs) in the dense forest near Bhandarpal village in Kondagaon District of Chhattisgarh on June 1, 2021.

Police recovered one Self-Loading Rifle (SLR), a 303 rifle and three 12 bore rifles along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition
and other materials from the site.

Two Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres were killed in separate encounters in the Abujhmaad area in Orchha Tehsil (revenue unit) in Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on June 19, 2021. One .303 rifle, .315 bore rifles and other country-made weapons, along with a huge amount of camping materials, were recovered from the encounter spot.

Security Forces killed Joga, 'deputy commander' of People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) armed wing, Platoon No 26, in an encounter in Bastar District of Chhattisgarh on June 30, 2021.

Security Forces killed three cadres of the (CPI-Maoist) in an exchange of fire at Bhairamgarh in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on July 15, 2021. Three country-made firearms, kit bags, a three-kilogram Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and items of daily use were also recovered.

Two cadres of the CPI- Maoist were gunned down in an exchange of fire with the Security Forces at Gompad forested terrain in
Sukma District of Chhattisgarh on August 24, 2021.

Three women CPI-Maoist cadres were killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces in a forest between Adwal and Kunjeras
villages under Katekalyan Police Station limits in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on October 31, 2021.

The slain Maoists were identified as Raje Muchaki, Geeta Markam, and Jyoti alias Bhime Nuppo, who were active members of the Katekalyan' area committee' of Maoists.

One 12 bore gun, two country-made revolvers, one muzzle-loading gun, two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), wires, medicines, Maoist literature, and items of daily use were also recovered from the spot.

A CPI-Maoist' commander' was killed in an encounter with Security Force personnel in the forest of Bahker, Narayanpur District of Chhattisgarh on November 15, 2021. The dead body was identified as Saket Nureti, alias Bhaskar Nureti. An AK 47 and some ammunition were also seized from the spot.

A CPI-Maoist militia 'commander', Basta Bheema, was killed by the Security Forces. He was involved in at least nine deadly attacks on
Security Forces. He was encountered in a forest near Tadmetla village in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh on November 26, 2021.

The Security Forces killed two women cadres of the CPI-Maoist in a gun battle in the Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh on December 18, 2021. The slain bodies were identified as Hidme Kohrame, Mallanger' area committee member (ACM)' of Darbha Division and Pojje, Head of Chetna Natya Mandli (CNM), the outfit's cultural troupe, in Nilawaya of Mallanger area committee. The SFs also recovered three locally-made rifles, ammunition, explosives and items of daily use from the spot, and the search operation in the region has been intensified.

6 CPI-Maoist cadres, including four women, were allegedly killed in an exchange of fire between Police and the Maoists at the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border area under Kishtaram Police Station limits in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh on December 27, 2021.

The Maoists were killed in a joint operation of Telangana and Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF that took place in Sukma District, South Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

Concluding Remarks

The Ministry of Home Affairs adopted a robust mechanism to deal with the 'Red Corridor', which is now confined to Chhattisgarh's Bastar region. It is a remarkable achievement. However, some strategic shortcomings can prevent the annihilation of the extremists.

One must understand that the state government must be extremely vigilant and proactive in taking the Naxalites down. The centre can extend their suggestions and aid if need be. It is the time of the respective state to take the reins in their hands. Due to the asymmetries and lack of coordination between Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and State Police, the course of action is delayed. Thus, giving ample time to the militants to get away with their malicious intentions.

The state government and its personnel are aware of the affected region's local issues, language, and topography. They can take the bull by its horn better than the security forces. This is how the ecosystem of accountability in the political system will reform at all levels to defeat Naxalism in India.

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