India Intelligence Report

   Naxals Attack Relief Camp, Brutally Kill 25

  • Naxals kill 25 civilians in relief camp in brutal fashion on sending a message
  • Increased terrorism by naxals has alienated population but people are looking for leadership from government which is lacking
  • Abuj Mand is the operational headquarters of Naxals and Chhattisgarh is gearing to invade it army style

A 800 person Naxal horde attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and civilian relief camp in Errabore in Chhattisgarh and “hacked” 25 civilians “with sharp weapons” to send a message that colluding with the Government will bring them gory death. CRPF officials say that for Naxals the “mode of murder” is more important than a “simple death” because it reinforces the terror in the hearts of poor and illiterate tribal population that is resisting the AK-47 armed menace. Police say that the bulk of the 304 civilians killed in the Dantewada district alone died unspeakable deaths.

Superintendent of Police Chief Om Prakash Pal to The Pioneer that "When they capture those they think are betrayers or police informers among the tribals they are known to kill them with axes, not just a bullet.” Thereafter, they mutilate their bodies so there is no “dignity” in death. One of the techniques that they use is to booby-trap the bodies with “'pressure mines” so it “blows up” when a relative touches the body.

They meet out gruesome torture of tribals for simple crimes as disobeying a diktat not to go to the local market. The Naxals fear that the marketplace could be used by the Government to collect information on the terrorists. On April 28 this year, the police found a tribal who had hot liquid jaggery (brown sugar before processed as white sugar) poured into his eyes and ants let to eat his eyes out. In another case, a tribal who requested for water was beaten badly and forced to drink urine. There are also other cases where the Naxals execute villagers who have run away from their villages fearing violence. They force women into terrorism and meet out harsh treatment if they don’t. This sort of violence has alienated large populations from their cause and even in recent West Bengal elections, people defied diktats not to participate in the democratic process to vote in large numbers.

Chhattisgarh State intelligence officials say that the Naxal menace in the state is not localized but “a full-fledged insurgency” and revealed that there were “300 landmine blasts” from June 2004 to June 2006 in Dantewada and two other adjoining districts. He pointed out that this number was more than the rest of the country put together and including Kashmir. Additionally, he pointed out that the landmines are so sophisticated that they can destroy anti-landmine vehicles similar to American ones being used in Iraq.

Pal says that the Naxalites use land, Claymore, and directional and pressure mines and are perhaps sourcing their regular supply from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) gunrunners. Apparently, the Naxals also have AK-47s and Indian National Small Arms System (INSAS) rifles supplied regularly through Orissa’s unmonitored coastline and “forests on the Andhra border.” In addition, they have also attacked and looted police stations in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Chhattisgarh to gain access to weapons and ammunitions. The AP Government under Y.S.R. Reddy has been the most ineffective administration fighting Naxals even though they managed to get political brownie points from the Federal Home Ministry. The terrorists leverage the poor infrastructure in Chhattisgarh to hit locations and run into neighboring AP where the infrastructure is good but enforcing administration is poor sort of what the terrorists in Kashmir are doing. While AP is not encouraging terror, the administration is plain incompetent and pays a lot of lip service and does a good marketing job. 

In addition, they also seemed to be learning from other terror campaigns around the world. They use Kashmiri tactics of dressing up like policemen to infiltrate police camps to attack and loot armories or high-security areas. They have performed well-coordinated frontal attacks as used by the LTTE to overpower police outposts or relief camps. They use Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) tactics to attack infrastructure such as railway stations and lines even prompting the Home Ministry to suggest to the Railways to seek para-military help to protect trains through forest areas which was never followed through. They use LeT tactics to blow up bridges and derail trains. They use LTTE tactics to stop Federal police patrols.

The Naxals operational headquarters is in Abuj Mand, a 10,000 square kilometer un-surveyed forest zone straddling Bastar and Dantewada districts and houses and estimated 4000 odd cadre. Deep inside this forest, security agencies say that in a 3 to 4 square kilometer location the Naxals have full-fledged training camps, concrete bunkers, 15 kilowatt generators, Motorola wireless sets, powerful telescopes, and computer centers providing them a tactical superiority over the ill-trained, ill-equipped, and ill-paid police with insufficient intelligence. They even make their own rockets and launchers. In addition, the Naxals have political cover from communist parties, local politicians, and corrupt policemen.

Woken up with this reality, the Home Ministry revealed a Naxal policy that is nothing more than an endorsement of the Salwa Judum program. The Salwa Judum (meaning peace moves) is a local militia movement of innocent tribals who want to stop the Naxal menace. The Government encouraged this movement armed with bows, arrows, and spears against the Naxals who are armed with sophisticated weapons, use modern warfare methods, and adopt international terrorist methods employed by LeT, LTTE, and the Hezbollah. They resources available to the Chhattisgarh police was so poor, that they had use traditional means of alerting sentries of Naxal movement.

This ridiculous situation arises because of a lack of sincerity and focus of political masters to combat terrorists who undertake military campaigns accompanied by doctors and medical teams, train Nepalese terrorists, and want to turn Abuj Mand into the “Hunan of India” referring to terrorist leader Mao’s rebellion in China. To combat this movement, the Chhattisgarh has to dominate the Abuj Mand area which would require large scale and well planned invasion to sack their operational headquarters and not allow the escape of terrorists. In preparation, the Chhattisgarh police has set up a Jungle Warfare College in Kanker and sent personnel for training at the Indian Army's Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Mizoram.

In addition, to an invasion and dominance of this area, to break the back of Naxalism, India should be prepared politically to stop politicians give sanctuary to terrorists, coordinate police action across states, and strengthen laws to meet out strong punishment for these terrorists. More importantly, the Government should also find ways to improve the livelihood of these people left behind by development and progress.

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