Reds expand Chhattisgarh base, Sukma

Sukma in Chhattisgarh, Collector Alex Paul Menon

Maoists are fast expanding their areas of influence in south Chhattisgarh for the last one year even though statistics of the Naxal violence has declined.

According to Union home ministry's annual report, there were 465 incidents and 204 deaths in Maoist violence in 2011 in Chhattisgarh. In 2010, there were 343 deaths in 625 such incidents. The decline lulled Chhattisgarh into complacency. At top level meetings in Delhi, senior police officers from Chhattisgarh and the Centre attributed it to the efficacy of joint forces' operations.

Ground reports show Maoists have created a new division in the Dandakaranya special zonal committee (DKSZC) in the area around Lohandiguda in Bastar where Tatas proposed to set up a Rs 10,000-crore steel plant by displacing residents of about 11 villages.

DKSZC members allegedly abducted Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon. Its chief Ramanna planned the operation and Sudhakar, political commissar of a military company operating in the area, was present when Menon was abducted, said sources.

After much prodding, villagers in Bastar said Maoists are recruiting youth from their villages. An old man spoke of a village boy whom Maoists took away when he was 12. His parents were poor. Pointing to the jungles, the old man said, "Andarwaale (Maoists) sought permission from his parents and took him. They put him in a school."


Related News