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Killing of 35 security personnel: Maoists are still a 'formidable force' in Chhattisgarh

Grenade launcher shells used by PLGA in attack on CRPF camp
By Harsh Thakor* 
The people of Maad in Chhattisgarh are being hounded and are facing survival crisis due to “Operation Kagar”, a mobilization of the Indian state’s paramilitary, which arose immediately after the victory of the BJP government in Chhattisgarh.
Operation Kagar itself is part of the larger Operation Samadhan-Prahar (OSP), which began in 2017 after the brutal Operation Green Hunt was overpowered. This operation, which began under the camouflage of countering the Maoists in the region, has crystallised into 195+ fortified camps in the so-called “left wing extremism-affected” regions and heavy deployment of CRPF, BSF and even National Security Guard (NSG) as a means of supplying outposts for the Indian state.
These outposts have were then utilised to crush the region-wide mass movements against anti-people mining projects which have patronised the loot of India’s natural resources and threaten to displace thousands of Adivasi peasants from their lands for the coffers of big corporate.
Aerial bombardments and drone attacks have intensified greatly and are becoming a routine feature. Those who are condemning the anti-people policies the BJP rulers are being framed as “pen-yielding” Maoists and are being repressed.
Left-wing forces have condemned the ongoing military campaign in Central India, especially in Abuj Maad. Gigantic number military forces have been deployed and a new military operation named Operation Kagar has been launched. By instilling terror among Maadiya tribal community who are residing on the hills of Maad, around 10,000 Central police force and para-military forces have been deployed.
Already there are thousands of police forces deployed in Maad region, and this fresh consignment of police force has turned the mountains of Maad into a highly militarized zone. Establishing 6 base camps, “Operation Kagar” is the end product of the past one-year campaigns unleashed by the Central government.
The civil rights group Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) has condemned Operation Kagar and the large-scale deployment of CRPF forces in the Abujmarh region under this Operation. It calls for demands an abrupt end to Operation Kagar, Operation Samathan-Prahar and the recalling of all paramilitary deployed in the region along with scrapping repressive mining projects which back an anti-people model of development.
The latest paramilitary operation follows January 22 action by the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in the camp of the paramilitary forces of the CRPF in Bijapur district, Chhattisgarh, in which 35 security personnel were killed and more than 40 people were severely injured. 
Before the raid, the PLGA placed the camp under its control. Supported by locals, the highroads were blocked with huge tree logs to stop the movement of the CRPF. This led to thousands of police deployed in Bastar. The action shows BJP rulers' incapability to be able to stop the actions of the Maoists.
According to FACAM, the militarization of Chhattisgarh in order to “countering Maoism” is actually meant to curb popular movements waging their fight for land and natural resources. While Maoists continue with their adventurist moves, they appear to have sent shivers down the spine of the rulers.
---
*Freelance journalist

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