John. F. Kennedy once said: “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” However, the truth is that the war on terror is unlikely to end. Man is in relentless pursuit of bringing an end to the existence of homo-sapiens, either in the name of righteousness or religion. The Maoist movement in India began three decades ago and many Indian states still reverberate with sounds of gunfire and explosives, resulting in the death of hundreds every few months. Keeping the track of some horrible incidents, here’s an attempt to shortlist 11 shocking cases of Naxal attacks which questioned peace in India.
The mass attack of Udayagiri gathered 500 Maoists to slam the Orissa State Armed Police camp. The heavily armed rebels successfully freed 40 prisoners from the sub-jail in Orissa’s Udayagiri town. There were over 80 ultras, including women, who attacked the police camp, taking hostage the Officer-in-Charge.
Naxalites in large number led a 48 hour Bandh in Langargh in 2009. Riding on motorcycles, the rebels stormed fire at the Lakhisarai district court premises in Bihar and freed several of their comrades. Since then, the Indian Government banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist) from the mainstream politics.
The attack was the result of a meticulous long-term planning. The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, barely survived the most fool-proof attack that India ever witnessed. From using World War II- vintage low-technology weapons such as .303 rifles, to using fully automatic assault rifles, they were well equipped with weaponry. Naidu was lucky because the PWG did not plant explosives underneath the road surface.
In December 2006, a naxalite attack in Bokaro killed 14 policemen. Heavy explosives were blasted in the midst of a dense forest, while a group of police officers was on a routine patrol. The city of industries, Bokaro has been always in the hit-list of naxalites.
A fierce gun-battle was fought with the police of Jehanabad district during the Jehanabad Jail Break in June 2005. 12 people were reported to die in the incident. CPI (Maoist) guerrillas disguised in police uniforms, crashed the Jehanabad jail located in the centre of the town, thus questioning the entire security system. Even today, people of the town recall the tragedy with dismay.
More than 500 Naxalites lashed a police post in Rani Bodi village in Chattisgarh in 2007. 55 policemen succumbed to the attack, including 24 police personnel of the state police and 31 Special Police Officers. The attack was cleverly planned for night, when most of the police force was asleep.
Another attack was led in the prime Naxalite area of Dantewada, Chattisgarh in April 2007. More than 350 Maoists killed 54 people including 15 personnel from the Armed Force. The police base camp in the Bastar region was slammed in a matter of hours. Several victims belonged to the tribal youth community of Salwa Judum, as Special Police Officers.
Naxalites struck a body blow to the state Congress leadership in Chattisgarh on 25th May 2013, when insurgents belonging to Communist Party of India (Maoists) attacked a convoy of Indian National Congress leaders who were headed for a election rally. In all 27 people, which included Mahendra Karma, leader of a counter Maoist movement and Nand Kumar, Patel, president of state congress unit were brutally attacked and killed in the ambush on the convoy. Vidya Charan Shukla, a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, who was injured in the attack later succumbed to his injuries on 11th June. What remains a puzzle was as to how precise information about movement of the convoy had got to the Maoists, who were waiting to ambush them.
One of the deadliest Naxalite attack occurred in February, 2008 in Nayagarh, Orissa. Buses and trucks full of Maoists took hostage the district headquarters of Orissa. The attack killed 14 policemen. However, in defence, the Police Force led a massive attack with over 700 state police personnel, CRPF, SOG Commandos, Special Greyhound Forces from Andhra Pradesh and IAF Helicopters to fight back the Maoists.
The Peoples’ War extremists led one of the most horrifying naxal attacks, in Koraput, Orissa. The attack involved 1000 advanced guns and 1000 other weapons worth over Rs 50 crore. The horror ran for about six hours, looting the district armoury, demolishing five police stations, and the Koraput jail. The SP police, Arun Bothra had a providential escape, while killing and injuring many members of the Orissa State Armed Police battalion (OSAP).