As many as nine Indian states are bearing the brunt of naxalism. Of these, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are worst-affected while Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are partially affected.
Andhra Pradesh and Bihar remain the hot-bed of PWG ane MCC operations
The naxal movement came to Andhra Pradesh with peasants' revolt in tribal dominated Srikalulam region in December 1968. It soon spread to coastal areas and later to Telangana and Rayalaseema districts. The state is worst-hit by naxalite menace.
As many as 12 of the 23 districts of the state are infested with naxalism. These include Warangal, Khammam, Nizamabad, Midak, Nalgonda, MahaBubhagar, Adilabad, East Godawari and Karimnagar.
About 18 naxal groups are active in the state. They follow various ideological lines of Left extremism. People's War Group is the most feared force and the most skilled in guerilla and jungle warfare among them.
People's War Group, formed by Kondapalli Seetharamaiah (KS) on April 22, 1980, is the most dominant naxalite force with about 54 dalams (forest squads) active in the state. According to police it has 1,100 full time "underground cadres" besides "over 5000 over-ground militants". It has an awesome aresnal that include AK-47 rifles and landmines.
The PWG hit list includes almost all key leaders of important political parties in the state. Over 700 people of Telengana region, including MLAs, MPs, Zilla Parishad chairmen and landlords, are provided round the clock security. Though it was already banned in the state, the Centre imposed a nation-wide on it on December 5 under Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance.
Ultra-leftist terror stalks 14 of a total of 18 districts in the newly formed state or the erstwhile Southern Bihar. The most dreaded naxalite outfit in Bihar -- Maoist Communist Centre - is active in Jharkhand too besides its offshoot 'Jharkhand Liberation Front'.
The state chief minister Babulal Marandi is top on the naxalites' hit list.
Affected districts: Chhatra, Palamu, Garhwa, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Palamu, Dhumka, Sahebganj, Gumla, Lohardagga, Ranchi.
MCC has stepped up its attacks since the formation the state's formation. (MCC kills 12 Jharkhand cops - HT Report)
Naxalism held sway over as many as 20 out of 55 districts of undivided Bihar, country's poorest state. But the state has only six naxalism-hit districts after 14 such districts in the south merged with the new state of Jharkhand.
The six affected districts are -- Patna, Jehanabad, Gaya, Aurangabad, Nalanda, Nawadah, Bhojpur and Rohtas.
The ultra-leftist groups active in Bihar are - The most dreaded 'Maoist Communist Centre', CPI(ML) Liberation, CPI (ML) Peoples War, Mazdoor Kisan Sangram Samiti, CPI(ML) Janashakti, CPI(ML) Towards New Democracy and small groups like Santosh Rana group, Shantipal group, Kanu Sanyal group and Jeetender group.
The red militants face stiff resistance from Ranbir Sena, a private army of Bhumihars in central Bihar, particularly in Jehanabad and Bhojpur belt, which has witnessed a series of massacres.
Special Task Force has been raised to counter naxalite menace, which has claimed more than 1700 lives in past five years.
The naxalite base, mainly of PWG, is very small in the state.
It is broadly limited to Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts of eastern Maharashtra.
The newly created pre-dominantly tribal dominated state has got naxalism as a legacy of its parent state of Madhya Pradesh. Almost all of its 16 districts, including the densely forested Bastar, have naxalite presence.
Special Armed Force has been pressed into service in all 16 districts of the state. PWG is main naxalite force in the state.
The Red militants, mainly belonging to PWG, are active in backward tribal areas across western parts. Conditions of abject poverty and a sense of deprivation and exploitation in Dandakaranya region provide a breeding ground for naxalites who are continuously increasing their areas of influence. Slowly, but surely.
At least four tribal-dominated districts - Balaghat, Kawardha, Mandla and Dindori -- are infested with naxalism. Ultra-leftists have also a little presence in Seoni district.
PWG is main naxalite outfit active in the state.
Intelligence reports say naxalites are trying to make a corridor through the state's forest areas to link it to similar corridor in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar up to Nepal. The Centre has taken note of it after police officials from AP, MP, UP and Bihar expressed concern at a meeting of coordination committee of all naxal-infested states.
They have kept up sustained attacks on security forces, politicians, forest contractors, landowners and big traders besides heavily affecting the voter-turnouts in elections through their poll boycott calls in the tribal areas.
Naxalism is by and large limited to southern parts of the state, including Kalahandi and Koraput districts. Naxals have formed a 'common war zone' and Orissa is part of the zone.
Intelligence reports say PWG uses Devagiri and Mahendragad hills as its training grounds. Naxalites find a safe haven in Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput when pressure of security forces increases in AP, MP and Bihar.
Generally, praja courts held by naxalites, are popular among poor in southern Orissa and helping the ultras to enhance their sway.