Security forces have decided this year not to slow down their anti-Maoist operations despite the onset of monsoon in Chhattisgarh.
The Chhattisgarh government has set the target of 2022 to eliminate the Maoists from the state. Under ‘Operation Monsoon’, the Chhattisgarh police and central armed police forces will press ahead in Maoist heartland to thwart any action plan of the left-wing extremists, who have reportedly extended their Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) well into the rainy season.
“We have strategically planned to continue our anti-Maoist operation in Bastar region as far as possible. There is though no strong input but there is a compelling probability of the Maoists extending their TCOC. Earlier during monsoon, the operations usually were mostly curtailed. This time, we tactically equipped the forces to overcome the challenges while moving in forested hilly terrain during monsoon,” inspector general of police, Bastar range, Vivekanand Sinha told TNIE.
The Maoists usually lie low with the onset of monsoon. “The game plan of lying low for some months by the Maoists is actually their tactical pause – the duration they invest on strategic planning and training. They might also do the same during TCOC”, guerrilla warfare expert Brigadier (Retd) BK Ponwar said
The Maoists during TCOC are desperate to regain their strength, infuse confidence among their cadres, recruit people and simultaneously mount pressure on the forces.
Since the Maoists also organise meetings in villages, the forces have been instructed to ensure the trust gained from the local population should remain with the police.
The Maoists are believed to be present in at least 18 states, but are most active in Chhattisgarh where they are waging a virtual war on the security forces for more than three decades now.