A Decade of Terror: The Downfall of Maoist Terrorism in Chhattisgarh

According to the SATP, between 2013 and 2023 at least 445 security personnel besides the killing of over a little less than half as many civilians were killed in violence related to Maoists.

The Narrative World    10-Jul-2024   
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The Left-wing extremism, battleground of the Maoists-infested state Chhhattisgarh has seen a major reversal in fortunes. Since January 2024, the government security forces have been sourcing Maoist killings, aligning arrests, apprehension over surrenders labels being youth pivotal turn on four decade appeal. This article dwells upon how the Maoist terrorism has receded in recent time and compares it with years of terror filled past decade as evidence to show effective strategies by the current administration.
The Bloodstained Decade: A Grim Past
Chhattisgarh has been a theatre of violence over the last decade with the Maoists creating mayhem in the entire state. These terrorists also targeted security personnel, civilians and infrastructure with an object to destabilise the region and attempt to weaken the willpower of Governments. According to the SATP, between 2013 and 2023 at least 445 security personnel besides the killing of over a little less than half as many civilians were killed in violence related to Maoists. Maoists walked into the region, using guerrilla tactics, ambushes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to terrorise villagers in remote regions of Bastar division.
Turning the Tide: A New Era of Security
This scenario started changing dramatically with the strategic interventions of our present government. Chief Minister Vishu Deo Sai and Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah blended the military action with massive developing projects backed up community engagements as well. This has been historically proven to be effective from Jan 1, 2024 all the way up until today.
Notable Operations and Successes
Operation Red Hunt: Undertaken by early 2024, this operation focused on destroying Maoist Bastions in the difficult jugged terrain of Bastar. In the first quarter of 2024, as many as 35 Maoists had been killed in encounters with security forces and another 41 arrested while around two dozen surrendered. The continuous cooperation with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Chhattisgarh police against the Maoists was also very important.
Intelligence Led Operations: Improved intelligence sharing and striking capabilities against Maoist leadership had a salutary impact. A big success was achieved in April 2024, with the killing of top Maoist commander Sagar, who led several deadly attacks on security forces and also executed operations like the Tadmetla ambush. This success disheartened the Maoists, and paralyzed their operations.
Statistical Triumphs: A Data-Driven Success Story
The data from January 1, 2024, to today underscores the effectiveness of the current strategies:
  • Maoists Killed: 141
  • Maoists Arrested: 143
  • Maoists Surrendered: 212
  • Security Personnel Killed: 16
  • Civilian Casualties: 24
These figures starkly contrast the bloodshed of the previous decade, showcasing a remarkable decline in violence and a substantial increase in security.
Challenges Ahead: Sustaining the Momentum
The successes are worth celebrating, but the struggle against Maoist terror is far from over. The Maoists, who have been weakened but not defeated. The causality of such attacks in between are the regular reminders of perennial danger that we live & breathe every moment, as what happened in April 2024 with three CRPF personnel martyred during ambush.
“The multifaceted strategy needs to be continued by the government to push it forward. First, there is the need for more intelligence operations, secondly that development projects should reach every corner of society and thirdly they must make a surrender policy. And, of course addressing underlying root causes of insurgency.”
The Road Ahead: A Vision for Peace
The state vision of a Maoist-free Chhattisgarh is, therefore, caught between the pincer of maintaining pressure on them and simultaneously creating an atmosphere where trust and development can flow with newer vigors. In addition, utilisation of contemporary technology in counter insurgency operations i.e. drones and satellite surveillance ensures foolproof accuracy and effectiveness for the new security arrangements as well.
Conclusion: A Hopeful Future
The Maoist terrorists of Chhattisgarh are experiencing a radical change in their narrative. The path from the dark decade of terror and bloodshed to the brightest year greeted by strategic victories, hope for all triumphs has been fraught with pain but blessed back. The recent victories over Maoist terror, if sustained through a long term and holistic approach of security measures provides a template for other similarly afflicted regions.
The blood spilt by security forces and the most resilient tribal population will yield abundant fruit. For the state of Chhattisgarh that is stepping into a sanity and peace zone, these learnings from dark times are expected to be guiding lights for India's longest fight-to end left-wing extremism.
In the words of Home Minister Amit Shah, “Naxalism has been confined to a small area due to the offensive policy of the government and the efforts of security forces. Soon Chhattisgarh and entire India will be completely Naxal-free.”