- Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967.
The Maoists have since carved out what they call a
Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ), or Red Corridor, stretching from Tirupati
in Andhra Pradesh to Pashupati in Nepal, encompassing parts of seven States:
Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand
They have their footprint inMadhya Pradesh aswell. In
all, the area comprises 200 districts, 60 of them labelled hyper-sensitive.
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An expert group set up by the Planning Commission in 2008
on ‘Development Challenge in Extremist Areas’ observed: “Naxalite movement
has to be recognised as a political movement with a strong base among the
poor peasantry and adivasis and though it professed long-term ideology of
capturing State power, in its day to day manifestation it was to be looked
upon basically as a fight for justice, equity, protection, security and
To give teeth to their struggle, a military formation
called the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) was formed. It has
become a proficient striking force.
The PLGA has army-line command, control, communication,
sophisticated weaponry, explosives, skills and guerilla-warfare tactics,
combined with motivated, passionate-tothe- cause cadres.
The critical core of the policy to counter the Maoists should
dwell essentially on a pro-poorcentric credo, inclusive growth, a trinity of
security interventions, even socio-economic infrastructure dispensation in left
out ‘rain shadow’ areas. Capturing the hearts and minds of the alienated and
disempowered segments is critical. Of crucial significance are well-crafted,
integrated and multi-dimensional strategies. A positive mindset, sagacity and
clarity of vision and perception of the powers-that-be are essential. There
should be active political processes. Political vacuums should not exist. There
should be operational coordination among the affected States. Creative responses
to challenges, vibrant micro-level governing modules such as gram panchayats and
local bodies in Maoist-bound areas are needed. There should be community
involvement in the combat against extremism,modulated and humane offensives of
State security forces, and zero tolerance to human rights violations and
excesses. These should be blended with brainstorming psychological operations to
bring about changes in the psyche of turbulent and anguished minds.