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Maoism In India Essays

With the largest Communist guerrilla army in the world — the FARC of Colombia — handing over its guns to the United Nations on June 27 this year and preparing to contest elections in the coming month, a curtain has been drawn on the once ubiquitous phenomenon of “Marxist insurgencies.”

Once present all across the globe, Communist guerrillas and their armed offensives against governments had shaped much of the 20th century. From small bands of deadly fighters to full-fledged armies with combatants numbering in the thousands, such groups once held significant firepower and control of land across Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. But as things stand today most of these groups have either been crushed, chosen the ballot over the bullet, or have withered into political irrelevance.

Bucking that trend, a protracted people’s war has been running for the past 50 years between Maoist guerrillas and the Indian government with no end in sight.

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In fact, with anywhere between 8,000 and 10,000 regular troops in its guerrilla army and nearly 40,000 cadres in the people’s militia, the Indian Maoists are the largest organized Communist fighters outside of the Syrian YPG.

A Brief History

The Maoist party was the result of multiple splits and fratricidal wars inside the Indian communist movement.

The first Communist Party of India (CPI) was formed in 1920 under the aegis of the Soviet regime at a meeting in Tashkent. Following India’s independence in 1947, when the Soviet apparatus supported the centrist Indian National Congress, the CPI followed suit. This led eventually to an acrimonious split, from which the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was formed 1964.

The CPI(M) – now the largest overground communist party in India that pursues a more or less social democratic agenda – split over Soviet hegemony, but declared its distance from the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) as well and followed what it called “Communism with Indian characteristics.”

But within three years of that split, the CPC managed to engineer another. Led by a man named Charu Majumdar, this new group rejected elections and opted for Mao Zedong’s “protracted people’s war” doctrine.

The group’s first altercation with police took place in a small sub-Himalayan hamlet called Naxalbari during a violent protest of peasants against a landlord said to be extracting heavy rates of interest from them.

The 1967 Naxalbari uprising was quelled quickly. Majumdar was captured and killed in police custody in Calcutta soon after. But the movement had electrified hundreds inside the ranks of the communist party and soon groups emerged across the country pledging themselves to the “Naxalbari path.” And attesting their loyalties to the CPC, slogans of “China’s Chairman is Our Chairman” appeared on walls in Calcutta, Bombay and Hyderabad.

Following Mao’s death and China’s abandonment of sponsoring international revolution, the movement broke down into a chaos of splinters and factions that named themselves in an almost incomprehensible alphabet soup. By some estimates, during the 1980s, as many 149 Naxalite parties functioned independently, with each claiming to be the true flag-bearers of the Naxalbari legacy.

Some, like the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, went back on the plan for an armed insurrection and returned to elections.

But two major groups stuck to their guns: the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in areas adjoining Nepal and the People’s War Group (PWG) in the areas that made up the princely state of Hyderabad (modern day Andhra Pradesh and Telangana).

The MCC and the PWG were the largest, most organized and best-armed. They maintained links with international groups like the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) and Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA). But a bloody territorial feud between the two parties, combined with a state crackdown, kept them apart, and occupied with maintain their own territory.

This situation lasted until September 21, 2004, when the two groups merged and formed the new Communist Party of India (Maoist). The combined force is now the single largest armed group operating inside India.

The Resource War

The fight in Naxalbari in 1967 was about who had the right to farm produce. The Maoists say the essence of their people’s war remains the same – only farm produce has been replaced with minerals and the landlord with mining corporations.

“The war persists because the conditions that create the war do,” said Gautam Navlakha. Navlakha, who spoke to The Diplomat over a secure connection from Sweden, has been one of the most prominent faces to speak against military action on the Maoists. Taking a potshot at the slogan of “development” he says: “There has been no development for the tribal. The land, the forests, the rivers have been exploited for resources and the tribal women have been exploited for sex.”

While the ranks of civil rights activists and Maoist watchers in India are divided over the Maoists’ choice of using violent means, there is almost no disagreement that their cause is rooted in the pushback against unscrupulous exploitation of forest lands and the displacement of tribal populations for the sake of mineral ore.

The economies of China and India have, in the past three decades, become insatiable metal hungry monsters and feeding them has become a multi-billion dollar industry. According to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (India): “Globally, the mining industry is in boom time. World prices of minerals, ores and metals have soared to record levels, a trend that began in 2002 with unprecedented demand from China. In 2006 alone, global prices of all minerals skyrocketed up 48%.”

Credit: South Asia Terrorism Portal

Little wonder that the Chota Nagpur and Orissa plateaus — loaded with 93 percent of the country’s iron ore, and 84 percent of its coal — have become home to mining behemoths turning up every square mile of the plateaus hills, forests and rivers.

And it is these exact areas that form the core zone of Maoist conflict.

“At the behest of the mining corporations, the government takes away the land and the forests of the tribal people and thereby their livelihoods away from them,” Navlakha explains. “But when the corporations set up shop, they don’t even employ the local people! There is nothing in this for the tribal!”

India’s mining industry has, in fact, been rife with systemic corruption. With little to no government oversight or regulation, regional satraps and families with political clout have pilfered ore at prices below international market rates and above legal quotas and faced no legal action.

The effects of this are borne out by the fact that despite the boom in mineral excavation and sales in India, the mining industry’s contribution to the economy has been lackluster and its share in the GDP has stagnated at 2.2-2.5 percent for more than a decade. Moreover, India has been experiencing jobless growth for a long time and when it comes to unemployment and low wages, the regions in the Maoist conflict zone are some of the worst affected.

The Indian authorities, however, have turned a blind eye to this exploitation and chosen to pursue a purely military approach to the situation.

In April 2006, Indian Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh, a celebrated “moderate,” described the Maoists as the “single biggest internal security threat” — underscoring the country’s adherence to seeking a purely military solution to the conflict. Thereafter, Singh proceeded to allot a special budget for providing combat assistance to districts where Maoists were present. A rapid militarization of the police was undertaken and armories were upgraded with drones and other equipment designed for high-intensity warfare.

Traditionally, anti-Maoist activities had been under the purview of civilian police and the central paramilitary forces. But Singh — for the first time — tried roping in the Indian military. Ideas like the bombing of Maoist strongholds floated around New Delhi’s power circles.

The move was decried as overkill and unethical. Singh’s cabinet didn’t find adequate support for this even in the ranks of his own party. Moreover, the Indian Army publicly expressed its reluctance to get involved in domestic issues and turn its guns on citizens.

As a workaround, the government sponsored counter-militias and split tribes into those “for” and “against” Maoists. Those willing to fight the Maoists were offered guns, money and an honorary rank of “special police officer.”

The infamous “Salwa Judum” (meaning purification hut) militia, headed by tribal leader Mahendra Karma, was a result of this move.

Karma had been a former member of the Communist Party of India but had rapidly risen through the ranks of power by switching sides and going over to the centrists, the Indian National Congress.

Before long, violence spiraled out of control and the Salwa Judum came under international scrutiny for gross violations of human rights and employment of child soldiers. Acting on a petition moved by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties in India, the Indian Supreme Court declared it illegal in 2011.

Soon after, the Maoists too hit back violently by assassinating Mahendra Karma and clutch of other leaders of the Indian National Congress.

The Military Stalemate

Between 2005 and 2017, the body count on both sides of the people’s war, and of the civilians caught in the crossfire, has ebbed and flowed. 2010 was the bloodiest year in this span. That year, fighting left over a thousand people dead. But with the exception of 2016 (due to one major ambush) the number of casualties has experienced a gradual but steady decline.

Data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal

But this is more the result of a stalemate, than a situation promising peace. In fact, lasting peace has remained elusive for a variety of political, social and economic reasons.

“The FARC peace deal happened because the Colombian government had the political will for it and because of the role that Cuba played,” Navlakha opines. “That simply doesn’t exist here! Despite declarations of unilateral ceasefire by the Maoists, the Indian government has shown absolutely no willingness to work towards peace. The killing of Azad is an example of government betrayal.”

Cherukuri Rajkumar, known as Azad, was a member of the Central Politburo and the spokesman of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Reportedly, in 2010 he was supposed to be heading peace negotiations with the Andhra Pradesh government. But for reasons that remain unknown, talks ended abruptly and Azad was killed in an encounter with the police. A journalist and a mediator were also killed. The police said a gun battle had ensued and lasted through the night. Protests erupted in several quarters, with critics of the government saying that the police’s claims were fake and that Azad and the others were killed in cold blood.

Yet things aren’t quite as straightforward as the Maoists offering peace talks and the government rejecting or betraying them.

The Maoists have from time to time tried to play kingmaker by intervening in the competitions between democratic parties. Stepping in during crucial elections, they have on multiple occasions used their firepower to sway results in one direction or the other.

For example, in 2007, the Maoists played a key role in bringing down the 34-year run of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as the ruling party of West Bengal. Involving themselves over a land acquisition dispute in Nandigram, Maoist guerrillas declared war on the Marxists and killed and drove members out of their homes in large numbers. This led to a landslide win for the opposition leader, Mamata Banerjee. The operation was led by famed guerrilla leader Mallojula Koteswara Rao a.k.a Kishenji.

But soon after the election, Banerjee’s administration engineered Kishenji’s assassination by winning over one of his trusted aides.

The Kishenji episode wasn’t an isolated case. Across Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, the Maoists’ experiments at working as hired guns for big players have resulted in losses for the group.

The Nepali Maoists having given up their armed efforts, and the CCOMPOSA and the RIM have ceased to be functional, effectively leaving their international links dry. The acrimonious recent past the Indian Maoists share with the other communist parties has made them pariahs in mainstream leftist collectives.

Moreover, unlike the other communist parties that have strong presence in trade unions, student unions, farmer collectives and other mass organizations, the Indian Maoist party has little more than their guns.

This has resulted in political isolation, and locked them inside the conflict zone.

Tribal Identity vs. Development

“The challenge to the Maoists comes as much, if not more, from satellite television and mobile telephony as it does from the Indian armed forces,” Siddharth Mitra, a New York-based human rights activist and Maoist politics watcher, says.

Like elsewhere in the country, rising aspirations for urban life among the younger generations of the tribal people has rendered older methods of public outreach by the Maoists ineffective. And this has in turn catalyzed the shedding of past cultures in favor of the more homogenized, pan-Indian one.

“Besides, one has to be nuanced about what the term tribal culture means,” Mitra explains further. “The tribal from Bastar (Chhattisgarh) is not the same as the tribal from Chandrapur (Maharashtra) or Dandakaranya (Orissa). So, when a Maoist guerrilla from Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) comes and talks to a tribal… in Bastar, the Maoist is as alien or as close to the tribal as the paramilitary soldier.”

This alienation and disillusionment can be gauged from the rising number of surrenders among the Maoist fighters. Tired of an itinerant life in the jungle, scores of mid-level leaders and fighters have deserted their brigades in the past five years and chosen salaried wages and family life instead. This in turn has led to the Maoists recruiting teenagers as combatants to fill the gaps.

The desertions notwithstanding, India’s changing political climate may indirectly be breathing fresh life into the Maoist movement.

In May 2014, the Manmohan Singh-led Congress Party was voted out and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi took over the prime minister’s office. Buoyed by an absolute majority in the lower house of the parliament, Modi and his cabinet have pursued a hardline Hindu nationalist agenda. Critics say Modi has leaned on Hindu supremacist politics and the muzzling of dissent.

This has led the opposition to grow closer and begin coordinating among themselves. Centrists, liberals, communists, Dalits, Muslims, feminists and a sweeping brush of the political-ideological spectrum on the Left have come together to push back against what many see as an onslaught of the Right.

“Gauri’s murder shows this like no other,” says Navlakha, referring to the recent shooting of independent journalist Gauri Lankesh. “This fascist government might just bring the Left closer.”

Lankesh was the Bangalore-based editor of a Kannada-language daily that had good readership among the working class and took a strident anti-Right line. Lankesh spoke out against Modi and his politics from multiple public platforms and had been openly threatened by Modi’s supporters. Shot dead at the gate of her home by “unknown” assailants, her death was openly celebrated on social media by supporters and followers of Modi.

“They tried to pin her murder on the Maoists – calling it infighting,” Navlakha explained. “But no sooner had they done that, the Maoists gave a statement flatly denying the charge. And the charge was rejected by all parties in the opposition.”

Less than a year ago, right after a similar public execution of a Modi-critic in Maharashtra, firebrand Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar said, “the Right needs to know that if they have goons, we have the Maoists.”

Irrespective of what opinion one holds of the Indian Maoists and their approach to politics, or what one makes of their mixed bag of setbacks and successes, the Indian government can’t wish away their existence – neither their military might nor their political raison d’être. Steeped in a history as old as the Indian polity itself and after half a century of warring, the Indian Maoists remain a force in the country.

Siddharthya Roy is a journalist specializing in politics and global affairs who has reported extensively from South Asia.

"Naxal" redirects here. For other uses, see Naxal (disambiguation).

A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of Communist Party of India (Maoist). The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. Naxalites are considered far-leftradical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In later years, it spread into less developed areas of rural southern and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).[1]


The term Naxalites comes from Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal, where a section of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) led by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal, and Jangal Santhal initiated an uprising in 1967. On 18 May 1967, the Siliguri Kishan Sabha, of which Jangal was the president, declared their support for the movement initiated by Kanu Sanyal, and their readiness to adopt armed struggle to redistribute land to the landless.[2] The following week, a sharecropper near Naxalbari village was attacked by the landlord's men over a land dispute. On 24 May, when a police team arrived to arrest the peasant leaders, it was ambushed by a group of tribals led by Jangal Santhal, and a police inspector was killed in a hail of arrows. This event encouraged many Santhal tribals and other poor people to join the movement and to start attacking local landlords.[3]

These conflicts go back to the failure to implement the 5th and 6th Schedules of the Constitution of India.[4][neutrality is disputed] In theory these Schedules provide for a limited form of tribal autonomy with regard to exploiting natural resources on their lands, e.g. pharmaceutical and mining, and 'land ceiling laws', limiting the land to be possessed by landlords and distribution of excess land to landless farmers and labourers.

Mao Zedong provided ideological leadership for the Naxalbari movement, advocating that Indian peasants and lower class tribals overthrow the government and upper classes by force. A large number of urban elites were also attracted to the ideology, which spread through Charu Majumdar's writings, particularly the 'Historic Eight Documents' which formed the basis of Naxalite ideology.[5] Using People's courts, similar to those established by Mao, Naxalites try opponents and execute, beat, or permanently exile them.[6]

At the time, the leaders of this revolt were members of the CPI (M), which joined a coalition government in West Bengal just a few months back. Leaders like land minister Hare Krishna Konar had been until recently "trumpeting revolutionary rhetoric, suggesting that militant confiscation of land was integral to the party's programme."[7] However, now that they were in power, CPI (M) did not approve of the armed uprising, and all the leaders and a number of Calcutta sympathisers were expelled from the party.

Subsequently, In November 1967, this group, led by Sushital Ray Chowdhury, organised the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR).[8] Violent uprisings were organised in several parts of the country. On 22 April 1969 (Lenin's birthday), the AICCCR gave birth to the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI (ML)).

Practically all Naxalite groups trace their origin to the CPI (ML). A separate offshoot from the beginning was the Maoist Communist Centre, which evolved out of the Dakshin Desh group. The MCC later fused with the People's War Group to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist). A third offshoot was that of the Andhra revolutionary communists, mainly represented by the UCCRI(ML), following the mass line legacy of T. Nagi Reddy, which broke with the AICCCR at an early stage.

The early 1970s saw the spread of Naxalism to almost every state in India, barring Western India.[9] During the 1970s, the movement was fragmented into disputing factions. By 1980, it was estimated that around 30 Naxalite groups were active, with a combined membership of 30,000.[10]

Violence in West Bengal[edit]

Around 1971 the Naxalites gained a strong presence among the radical sections of the student movement in Calcutta.[11] Students left school to join the Naxalites. Majumdar, to entice more students into his organisation, declared that revolutionary warfare was to take place not only in the rural areas as before, but now everywhere and spontaneously. Thus Majumdar declared an "annihilation line", a dictum that Naxalites should assassinate individual "class enemies" (such as landlords, businessmen, university teachers, police officers, politicians of the right and left) and others.[12][13]

The chief minister, Siddhartha Shankar Ray of the Congress Party, instituted strong counter-measures against the Naxalites. The West Bengal police fought back to stop the Naxalites. The house of Somen Mitra, the Congress MLA of Sealdah, was allegedly turned into a torture chamber where Naxals were incarcerated illegally by police and the Congress cadres. CPI-M cadres were also involved in the "state terror". After suffering losses and facing the public rejection of Majumdar's "annihilation line", the Naxalites alleged human rights violations by the West Bengal police, who responded that the state was effectively fighting a civil war and that democratic pleasantries had no place in a war, especially when the opponent did not fight within the norms of democracy and civility.[3]

Large sections of the Naxal movement began to question Majumdar's leadership. In 1971 the CPI(ML) was split, as the Satyanarayan Singh revolted against Majumdar's leadership. In 1972 Majumdar was arrested by the police and died in Alipore Jail. His death accelerated the fragmentation of the movement.

Operation Steeplechase[edit]

See also: Operation Green Hunt

In July 1971, Indira Gandhi took advantage of President's rule to mobilise the Indian Army against the Naxalites and launched a colossal combined army and police counter-insurgency operation, termed "Operation Steeplechase," killing hundreds of Naxalites and imprisoning more than 20,000 suspects and cadres, including senior leaders.[14] The paramilitary forces and a brigade of para commandos also participated in Operation Steeplechase. The operation was choreographed in October 1969, and Lt. General J.F.R. Jacob was enjoined by Govind Narain, the Home Secretary of India, that "there should be no publicity and no records" and Jacob's request to receive the orders in writing was also denied by Sam Manekshaw.[15]

Situation during 2000–2011[edit]

Between 2002 and 2006, over three thousand people had been killed in Naxalite-Government conflicts, and by 2009, the conflict had displaced 350,000 members of tribal groups from their ancestral lands.[16]

In 2006 India's intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, estimated that 20,000 armed-cadre Naxalites were operating in addition to 50,000 regular cadres.[17] Their growing influence prompted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare them to be the most serious internal threat to India's national security.[18] Naxalites, and other anti-government militants, are often referred to as "ultras".[19]

In February 2009, the Indian Central government announced a new nationwide initiative, to be called the "Integrated Action Plan" (IAP) for broad, co-ordinated operations aimed at dealing with the Naxalite problem in all affected states (namely Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal). Importantly, this plan included funding for grass-roots economic development projects in Naxalite-affected areas, as well as increased special police funding for better containment and reduction of Naxalite influence in these areas.[20][21]

In 2009, Naxalites were active across approximately 180 districts in ten states of India.[22] In August 2010, after the first full year of implementation of the national IAP program, Karnataka was removed from the list of Naxalite-affected states.[23] In July 2011, the number of Naxalite-affected areas was reduced to 83 districts in nine states (including 20 additional districts).[24][25][26] In December 2011, the national government reported that the number of Naxalite-related deaths and injuries nationwide had gone down by nearly 50% from 2010 levels.[27] Maoist communist groups claimed responsibility for 123 deaths in 2013, which was nearly half of all deaths from terrorism in India.[28] The movement is described as “terrorist” by the Indian authorities but it is however popular in the regions where it is present. According to a study of the newspaper The Times of India 58% of people surveyed in the state of Andhra Pradesh, have a positive perception of the guerrilla, against only 19 % against it.[29]

In a 2004 Indian Home Ministry estimate, their numbers were placed at that time at "9,300 hardcore underground cadre ... [holding] around 6,500 regular weapons beside a large number of unlicensed country-made arms".[30] In 2006, according to Judith Vidal-Hall, "Figures (in that year) put the strength of the movement at 15,000, and claim the guerrillas control an estimated one fifth of India's forests, as well as being active in 160 of the country's 604 administrative districts."[31] India's Research and Analysis Wing believed in 2006 that 20,000 Naxals were involved in the growing insurgency.[17]

Today, some Naxalite groups have become legal organisations participating in parliamentary elections, such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti.

Situation post 2010[edit]

  • 6 April: Naxalites launched the most deadly assault in the history of the Naxalite movement by killing 76 security personnel. The attack was launched by up to 1,000 Naxalites[32][33] in a well-planned attack, killing an estimated 76 CRPF personnel in two separate ambushes and wounding 50 others, in the remote jungles of Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district in Eastern/Central India.
  • 17 May, Naxals blew up a bus on Dantewda–Sukhma road in Chhattisgarh, killing 15 policemen and 20 civilians. In the third major attack by Naxals on 29 June, at least 26 personnel of the CRPF were killed in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh.

Despite the 2010 Chhattisgarh ambushes, the most recent central government campaign to contain and reduce the militant Naxalite presence appears to be having some success.[27] States such as Madhya Pradesh have reported significant reduction in Naxalite activities as a result of their use of IAP funds for rural development within their states.[34] The recent success in containing violence may be due to a combination of more state presence, but also due to the recent introduction of social security schemes, such as NREGA.[35]


  • Late 2011:, Kishenji, the military leader of Communist Party of India (Maoist), was killed in an encounter with the joint operation forces, which was a huge blow to the Naxalite movement in eastern India.[36]
  • March: Maoist rebels kidnapped two Italians in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, the first time Westerners were abducted there.[37]
  • 27 March: 12 CRPF personnel were killed on in a landmine blast triggered by suspected Naxalites in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.[38]



  • 11 March 2014, Naxalites in Chhattisgarh ambushed a security team, killing 15 personnel, 11 of whom were from the CRPF. A civilian was also killed.[40]
  • 1 December 2014 Monday killed 14 CRPF personnel and 12 injured in south Chhattisgarh's Sukma district [41]


  • 11 April 2015 : 7 Special Task Force (STF) personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush near Kankerlanka, Sukma, *Chhattisgarh.[74]
  • 12 April 2015 : 1 BSF Jawan was killed in a Maoist attack near Bande, Kanker, Chhattisgarh.[75]
  • 13 April 2015 : 5 Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) Jawans were killed in a Maoist ambush near Kirandul, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.[76]


  • 24 October 2016 : 24 Naxalites were killed by Andhra Pradesh Greyhounds forces in encounter that took place in the cut-off area of remote Chitrakonda on Andhra-Odisha border.[42]
  • In November, 2016, three naxalites were killed near Karulai in an encounter with Kerala police. Naxalite leader Kappu Devaraj from Andhra Pradesh is included in the list of killed in the incident.[43]
  • Late November: In Jharkhand, six Naxals were killed in a gun battle with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandos. The CRPF recovered 600 bullets of various calibre, about 12 IEDs, an INSAS rifle, an SLR, a carbine and three other guns.[44]


  • 24 April 2017: In the 2017 edelbeda attack twenty five CRPF officers were killed in encounter with 300 Naxals. The encounter with 74 battalion of CRPF was reported from Kala Pathar near Chintagufa in Sukma District of Chattisgarh.[45]


  • 13 March 2018:9 CRPF personnel were killed and two injured after a powerful IED blast that destroyed their mine-protected vehicle in Sukma, Chattisgarh.


According to Maoist sympathisers, the Indian Constitution "ratified colonial policy and made the state custodian of tribal homelands", turning tribal populations into squatters on their own land and denied them their traditional rights to forest produce.[46] These Naxalite conflicts began in the late 1960s with the prolonged failure of the Indian government to implement constitutional reforms to provide for limited tribal autonomy with respect to natural resources on their lands, e.g. pharmaceutical and mining, as well as pass 'land ceiling laws', limiting the land to be possessed by landlords and distribution of excess land to landless farmers and labourers.[47] In Scheduled Tribes [ST] areas, disputes related to illegal alienation of ST land to non-tribal people, still common, gave rise to the Naxalite movement.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Ramakrishnan, Venkitesh (21 September 2005). "The Naxalite Challenge". Frontline Magazine (The Hindu). Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2007. 
  2. ^Sen, Sunil Kumar (1982). Peasant movements in India: mid-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Calcutta: K.P. Bagchi. 
  3. ^ abDiwanji, A. K. (2 October 2003). "Primer: Who are the Naxalites?". Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  4. ^See Outlook India comment by E.N. Rammohan 'Unleash the Good Force' – edition 16 July 2012.
  5. ^"History of Naxalism". Hindustan Times. 15 December 2005. Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. 
  6. ^Loyd, Anthony (March 13, 2018). "India's insurgency". National Geographic (April): 82–94. 
  7. ^Atul Kohli (1998). From breakdown to order: West Bengal, in Partha Chatterjee, State and politics in India. OUP. ISBN 0-19-564765-3. p. 348
  8. ^Mukherjee, Arun (2007). Maoist "spring thunder": the Naxalite movement 1967–1972. K.P. Bagchi & Co., Calcutta. ISBN 81-7074-303-6. p.295
  9. ^"Naxalite violence continues in Calcutta". The Indian Express. 22 August 1970. p. 7. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  10. ^Singh, Prakash. The Naxalite Movement in India. New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 1999. p. 101.
  11. ^Judith Vidal-Hall, "Naxalites", p. 73–75 in Index on Censorship, Volume 35, Number 4 (2006). p. 73.
  12. ^Sen, Antara Dev (25 March 2010). "A true leader of the unwashed masses". DNA (Diligent Media Corporation). Mumbai, India. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. 
  13. ^Dasgupta, Biplab (1973). "Naxalite Armed Struggles and the Annihilation Campaign in Rural Areas"(PDF). Economic and Political Weekly. 1973: 173–188. Archived from the original(PDF) on 27 November 2011. 
  14. ^Lawoti, Mahendra; Pahari, Anup Kumar (2009). "Part V: Military and state dimension". The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Revolution in the Twenty-first Century. London: Routledge. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-135-26168-9.  
  15. ^Pandita, Rahul (2011). Hello, Bastar : The Untold Story of India's Maoist Movement. Chennai: Westland (Tranquebar Press). pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-93-80658-34-6. OCLC 754482226.  
  16. ^ abPike, John (2 February 2017). "Naxalite". (de). Retrieved 27 April 2017.  
  17. ^ abPhilip Bowring (18 April 2006). "Maoists who menace India". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  18. ^"South Asia | Senior Maoist 'arrested' in India". BBC News. 19 December 2007. Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. 
  19. ^Press Trust of India (PTI) (25 March 2006). "Naxals attack Orissa jail, free prisoners, kill 3 cops". Indian Express. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. 
  20. ^"Special project for Naxal areas to be extended to 18 more districts". The Times Of India. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-02.  Times of India describes some details of ongoing nationwide Naxalite containment program, its "Integrated Action Plan".
  21. ^Co-ordinated operations to flush out Naxalites soonThe Economic Times, 6 February 2009.
  22. ^Handoo, Ashok. "Naxal Problem needs a holistic approach". Press Information Bureau. Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
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Further reading[edit]

  • "Urban Naxals" by Vivek Agnohotri, Publisher: Garuda Prakashan
  • Naxalite Politics in India, by J. C. Johari, Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies, New Delhi, . Published by Research Publications, 1972.
  • The Naxalite Movement, by Biplab Dasgupta. Published by , 1974.
  • The Naxalite Movement: A Maoist Experiment, by Sankar Ghosh. Published by Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay, 1975. ISBN 0-88386-568-8.
  • The Naxalite Movement in India: Origin and Failure of the Maoist Revolutionary Strategy in West Bengal, 1967–1971, by Sohail Jawaid. Published by Associated Pub. House, 1979.
  • In the Wake of Naxalbari: A History of the Naxalite Movement in India, by Sumanta Banerjee. Published by Subarnarekha, 1980.
  • Edward DuykerTribal Guerrillas: The Santals of West Bengal and the Naxalite Movement, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1987, p. 201, SBN 19 561938 2
  • The Naxalite Movement in India, by Prakash Singh. Published by Rupa, 1995. ISBN 81-7167-294-9.
  • V. R. Raghavan ed. The Naxal Threat : Causes, State Responses and Consequences, Publisher Vij Books India Pvt Ltd, ISBN 978-93-80177-77-9
  • Mary Tyler (1977). My Years in an Indian Prison. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd. OCLC 3273743.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Naxalite.

Areas with Naxalite activity in 2007 (left) and in 2013 (right).