The Maoists, who have been wreaking havoc in the Bastar region of southern Chhattisgarh, are reportedly in the process of creating an entirely new red corridor along the western border of the state.
According to reports, a 25-page-long document, retrieved by the Chhattisgarh Police in April, states that the new Maoist zone will cover the forest pockets in Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh, Gondia district in Maharashtra and Rajnandgaon, Kabirdham and Mungeli districts of Chhattisgarh.
It could be noted that Rajnandgaon is not new to Maoist violence. In 2009, the then SP Vinod Choubey was killed in a Maoist ambush along with 29 other policemen. Mungeli have not seen any Maoist activity so far, though there have been some reports of Maoist movement in Kabirdham, which incidentally is the home district of Chief Minister Raman Singh.
The document describes the new area as the MMC (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Confluence) zone. The Maoist document further indicates that the idea is to create an entity like the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee in Bastar.
MMC is the second red zone that the Maoists are building after they had built BBM (Bolangir, Bargarh, Mahasamund) division, in 2006, under Odisha State Committee. This marks the first expansion by Maoists in Chhattisgarh region in eight years.
The contents of the document, said to be have been drafted by “MMC Leading team” in March 2017, highlights issues specific to the area that the Maoist leadership must take up such as land, differential pricing of bamboo and even demonetisation.
The Maoist document states that efforts need to be taken to increase “political awareness of the Naxal movement”. “We have to familiarise village level committees of the strategies and policies of the people’s war,” reads the document.
The document mentions that that there have been encounters in September, December last year and February this year, where the Maoists lost key papers, leading to security forces learning of their plans.
The Maoist document cautions its cadre to remain mobile and instead of staying in one place and attack security forces by laying ambush. Intelligence sources suggest that the Maoists have sent 58 senior and middle level cadres – headed by a Maoist commander Surender – to operationalise the MMC.
There are also indications that the top Maoist leadership, possibly members of the Central Committee, have visited the region to push the process.
It appears that Maoists are concentrating to increase their strength entirely in and around Chhattisgarh after reports indicated that they were being weakened in other regions of India.