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AMAN SETHI / tHE hINDU / RAIGARH, June 29, 2011.
Wreckage of a paramilitary vehicle hit by a powerful landmine by Maoists rebels in Chhattisgarh recently. Intelligence reports speak of a possibility of Maoist cadres assembling in large numbers along the Orissa border to strike - PTI.
A recent raid of a Maoist campsite in Chhattisgarh’s coal-rich Raigarh district has prompted speculation that the guerilla force is seeking to expand its operations in the State’s northern districts. While no casualties were reported by either side, the police claim to have recovered improvised explosive devices (IED), Maoist literature, and food supplies from the camp site.
While Raigarh has no history of Maoist violence, the rapid expansion of thermal power projects and coal mines has resulted in large-scale land acquisition and displacement of tribal and non-tribal populations. Police sources said the Maoists could seek to tap into tribal unrest and demand protection levies from private corporations to finance their battle against the State.
The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is a banned insurgent group committed to the overthrow of the Indian state through armed revolution.
“A joint team of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force and the STF [Special Task Force] raided a Maoist camp in the Gumerda forests near the Orissa border in the early hours of Tuesday morning,” said Raigarh Superintendent of Police, Rahul Sharma. Mr. Sharma said a team of 25 to 30 Maoist fighters had crossed over from Orissa’s Bargarh district on a reconnaissance patrol when they were accosted by the police.
Sources said the party had recently formed a Bargarh-Mahasamund Divisional Committee that reports to the larger Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC). With operations in Chhattisgarh’s five southern districts and parts of the Gadchiroli district in Maharasthra, the DKSZC is one of the most active Maoist divisions; its cadres have killed 55 policemen this year in Chhattisgarh.
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