India security forces kill at least 29 left-wing extremists in Chhattisgarh News
Xkalponik, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
India security forces kill at least 29 left-wing extremists in Chhattisgarh

Indian security forces killed at least 29 left-wing extremists called Naxals, or Maoists, in the Indian Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected state of Chhattisgarh’s sensitive region Bastar this week. The Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala are all considered LWE affected, albeit to varying degrees.

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and District Reserve Guard (DRG) carried out an operation based on intelligence from BSF in the Kanker, which falls under the LWE-affected sensitive region of Bastar in Chattisgarh state. At least 29 left-wing extremists were killed in the operation, and at least one BSF member was injured. BSF’s official X (formerly Twitter) account shared information about the operation. It stated:

In a major crackdown against the Maoist menace in Kanker, Chattisgarh, a joint operation by BSF & DRG was launched based on specific BSF intelligence. The operation yielded huge success as the troops eliminated 29 CPI Maoist cadres including top commander Shankar Rao. A large cache of weapons & ammunition were also recovered. The successful operation will help in breaking backbone of maoist activity and immensely augment the efforts to bring normalcy & development in the region. 

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah also commended the security forces for their operation and extended wishes for the swift recovery of the injured officers. He added that Naxalism poses a grave threat to development, peace and the future of India’s youth. Furthermore, he emphasized that the government is committed to eradicating Naxalism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. Shah also expressed the government’s determination to achieve a Naxal-free Chhattisgarh and, ultimately, a Naxal-free India.

The Maoist, or left-wing extremist, insurgency in India, also known as the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency, arose in the late 1960s to address social and economic disparities. Inspired by Mao Zedong’s ideology, the rebels operated in the “Red Corridor,” waging guerrilla warfare primarily in states such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. The conflict involves attacks on security forces, which have resulted in a significant number of deaths. The Indian government has responded with military and development measures, but challenges remain, including human rights concerns and the need to address underlying socioeconomic issues in affected areas. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the rebels’ human rights violations.

In 2006, the Indian government established the Left Wing Extremism Division under the Ministry of Home Affairs to comprehensively address the left-wing extremist insurgency. It implements security-related programs to strengthen the capabilities of states affected by LWE. The division monitors the LWE situation, the countermeasures implemented by affected states, and the implementation of development initiatives by various ministries and departments of the government of India in these states.