TM: "Indian Counter-Insurgency Operations and COVID-19 Limit Maoist Insurgency"
Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, while addressing a day-long meeting of Chief Ministers, including six of the Naxalite affected states, on April 13, 2006, observed: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”On January 21, 2021, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane said that 'left-wing extremism' is one of the biggest challenges before the Indian state. It seems, in the last 14 years, there has not been any phenomenal shift in the position of the LWE in India’s list of nat
There is an upsurge in Maoist related incidents in Chhattisgarh, a central Indian province. The violence on April 3, 2021, has raised a big question mark on the government's anti-Maoist strategy. Between 2018 and 2020, Chhattisgarh accounted for 45% of all Maoist related incidents in India and causing 70% of security personnel deaths (Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report 2019-2020)
While the COVID-19 has devastated health, economy and social sectors across the world with the death of millions of people, its impact is mixed in the low-intensity conflict regions. In case of India, more than one lakh people have been affected (at the time of finalising this report), and more than three thousand people have succumbed to the pandemic despite a nationwide lockdown imposed since March 23.
Seventeen security personnel including 12 from District Reserve Guard (DRG) and five from Special Task Force (STF) were killed by the CPI (Maoist) in Chintagufa in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on March 21, 2020 (Hindustan Times, March 22).
The Naxalite movement, otherwise known as Maoist movement or Left Wing Extremism (LWE), celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in India in 2017. Despite tall claims made by successive governments, people in Maoist-infested regions continue to lead a miserable life. The metamorphic growth of violence and the inability of the state to come out with a well-thought-strategy have entirely paralyzed the rural administration in Maoist-infested regions.
Despite incessant combing operations against Maoists in the jungles of both affected and targeted districts since 24 March Ramgiri Udayagiri Jail attacks, the Maoist mobilisations continues unabated in Orissa. Undoubtedly, the operations had least impact on the Maoist movements in the Northern Orissa districts adjacent to the borders of neighbouring Jharkhand. They continue to camp freely in the inter-district borders and visit the villages at night to collect water, rations and organise village meetings.