“I have been made to understand that none of our plans have materialised for quite some time… organise and strike back.”
So says a 24-page letter written by Satyanarayana Reddy alias Kosa, secretary of the Communist Party of India’s (Maoist) Dandakaranaya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) which controls operations in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The letter, written months before last Sunday’s attack at Markegaon, in which 15 policemen were killed, has been accessed by the Hindustan Times.
This is what Kosa had to tell his cadres in Gadchiroli: “There has been hardly any output from Gadchiroli division. We have been on the back-foot for quite some time. Why has there been a dearth of recruits for the PLGA (People Liberation Guerrilla Army) in Gadchiroli? Ambush after ambush has failed. I would want companies and platoons from DKSZC to join hands with those in Gadchiroli and strengthen our base. The enemy (the government) has been carefully devising strategies. And through their policies of development have tried to gain favour of people (sic). We have had some setbacks. We need to up the ante in Gadchiroli. And we need to do it fast.”
The letter offers a glimpse into how left wing extremists have systematically extended their influence over at least a fifth of India’s 600-plus districts and why one in six Indian citizens — about 180 million people, thrice the population of the United Kingdom —lives under the shadow of insurgency.
It is a chilling insight.