Revelations from the red corridor

  • tribals

    If the tribals veer towards the armed rebels, it is because they want food, clothing, education, health facilities and legitimate rights over the land that ...

  • tribals

    The tribals live a destitute life, devoid of basic amenities, liberty and self respect. And if they tend to tilt towards the armed revolutionaries, it’s ...

  • tribals

    Nearly half a billion tribals live in the six worst affected states and they lie at the heart of the Naxal conundrum. HT Photo/Ajay Aggarwal

  • tribals

    The tribals live in a mineral-rich zone, horribly caught in a cycle of violence that flows from two sets of guns. HT Photo/Ajay Aggarwal

  • tribals

    The Centre and the States need to aggressively work towards the development and rehabilitation of tribals if they need to weed out Naxalism from the ...

  •  jawans

    Some jawans prefer being posted in J-K over Red zones. HT Photo/Ajay Aggarwal

  • Naxal-affected area

    The only other companion of a jawan posted in Naxal-affected area besides death is loneliness. HT Photo/Ajay Aggarwal

  • security personnel

    Something to cheer about -142 security personnel killed in 2011 as compared to 285 in 2010; 216 police informers killed in 2011 vis a vis ...

  • jawans

    Some jawans have to be taken off combat duty because they get psychologically disturbed. HT Photo/Ajay Aggarwal

  • crpf jawans

    The home ministry admitted 461 suicides and 64 instances of fratricides amongst the forces were also recorded between 2007 and September 2011. HT Photo/Ajay Aggarwal

At every step, surrounded by the armed CRPF troops, as we moved closer to the village Goraram in the forest area of Bijapur, crossing an uninhabitable jungle, one got a sense of why this area has turned into a Naxal hotbed. We were accompanying the CRPF in their search operations in the remote land of Bijapur in Chhattisgarh.

As we reached the village, after four hours of walking in the moonlight, we met some villagers and their kids. The presence of security forces didn’t seem to take them by surprise. It is routine for them to see Maoists and the security forces on alternate days, but we perhaps seemed like aliens... as they looked with amazement at the camera.

In a bid to gain the confidence of the villagers, the CRPF gives them food and clothing. At first, the kids hesitated in accepting food from the jawans, but then hunger took over the shyness.

Only a couple of  CRPF jawans could manage to speak to the villagers as language becomes a barrier between the security forces who come from different parts of India and the villagers who have never ventured out of these jungles for generations.

After an hour of questioning the villagers, the troops get ready to head back to the base but this time they plan to take a different route — the idea is to thwart any possible ambush attacks from the Maoists.

 

also read

Timeline of major Maoist rail attacks

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