topics Updated: May 24, 2016 16:51 IST
The term, Naxal, originates from a guerilla communist movement at Naxalbari block in West Bengal in the 1960s. Followers of Maoist ideology, Naxalites launched a violent movement in Bengal for the “emancipation of the oppressed” and led to a spilt in the communist family with the far-left factions breaking away. As the movement fizzled out and its leaders were killed, the movement took a fresh turn. The Communist Party of India (Maoist), which was formed after the merger of three groups in 2004, became the face of the so-called fight for the rights of the tribals and the poor. The new breed, known as Maoists, has carried out several daring attacks on security forces, and was described as India’s biggest internal security threat by former PM Manmohan Singh. Despite being on the back foot due to intense security operations and lucrative rehabilitation schemes, Maoists still make their presence felt in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra.