After suffering serious reverses, Maoists are moving into a consolidation phase even as anti-naxal operations have come to a standstill in the red corridor in the absence of a regular chief for the CRPF, the main force fighting the rebels.
“They are in the consolidation phase, focusing on a secure elevated zone which can be a safe place for training, recruitment and refuge,” said a senior official involved in operations.
The Dandakaranya forests in the Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh belt — under the Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee (DSZC) of the Maoists — still continue to be the bastion of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and include the hot beds of their activity such as Gadchiroli and Bastar. Headquartered at Abujhmaad, this zone is also called the central guerrilla base.
“Maoists are now mainly working in the tribal areas such as Malkangiri and Koraput in the Andhra-Odisha border areas where about 90% of their senior leaders are now based at. These areas are guarded by about 10 guerrilla companies or about 900 men,” the official said.
Top Maoists commander Ganapathy is known to have a five-tiered security ring around him. After scaling the peak in 2008-09, the Maoists have suffered deep reverses in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar and parts of Odisha. Around half of the 35-40 members who comprise the central committee—top Maoist political body—are behind bars. This success was attributed to the leadership of ex-CRPF chief K Vijay Kumar who retired on September 30.
“For the last 10 days, the CRPF’s anti-naxal operations have come to a standstill in core Maoist areas such as Gadchiroli and Bastar. There is a lack of enthusiasm among the personnel as the former chief was deeply involved in operations,” the official said.