Homeland Security

The naked truth of Naxalism
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Issue Vol 24.3 Jul-Sep2009 | Date : 03 Nov , 2009

A couple hailed by the Indian Express for their stupendous social work in a village ‘Sabdo’ in Bihar were killed, because the Maoists felt that their influence was being eroded. A Maoist activist, Mushar by caste, committed suicide in a village of Patna district, because his wife was raped by the local Maoist leaders.

A group of humble farmers were compelled to donate a piece of land and money in return for unhindered agricultural activity. The entire money and land was appropriated by one Maoist leader on the plea that he had risked his life more than anyone else in the organization. A school in a remote area of Jharkhand had to close down because it could not meet the cash demands of the Maoists.

This is the story in the entire ‘Red-Corridor’.


Most Maoist leaders during the last two decades have acquired huge properties in the urban areas with the money that flows into the organization through extortion. By one estimate the Maoist extortion activity yields some Rs.3,000 crores.

The most irresponsibly used terminology is “˜land reforms. Where is the surplus land? In what quantity is it available? How many beneficiaries are to be targeted? The beneficiaries will land up with how much land? These are the questions no one answers.

Most teachers and doctors have been compelled to flee from the rural areas to towns and cities because of the Maoist threat. Armed forces personnel, going back to their homes on retirement are definite targets of extortion, because they are known to be carrying decent sums (commuted pension, gratuity and savings) of hard-earned money. Serving soldiers and their families are also not being spared. No contractor is allowed to create or improve infrastructure in the Maoist affected areas, covering some 160 districts and 40 percent territory of India, without paying abnormal sums of ransom to the Maoists.

Recently a contractor of a mega-project in Jharkhand has been arrested for supplying bullet-proof jackets to the Maoists.

Hospitals, schools and government offices are not the only targets, railway trains are being hijacked and railway stations are being blown. Banks are being looted. Given the logistics and expertise, the day is not far when they would replicate ‘Kandhar’ by hijacking aircraft, to bargain their demands. This situation, unlike insurgency in the border states which is area specific, obtains right through the heart of country and is pan-Indian in nature. Industry and agriculture in this vast swathe of Indian territory, has ceased to grow, it has rather regressed.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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