Tribune of the People

India: Maoist Guerrillas Fight Back against Reactionary ‘Operation Prahaar’ Campaign

By Corey Brooks

Over the past month, the Maoist insurgents of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) have continued to fight back against the reactionary Indian State’s most recent counterinsurgency campaign, known as Operation Prahaar 3. They have carried out numerous acts of sabotage, targeting infrastructure and construction sites that are meant to allow the State’s forces to make inroads into the Indian countryside where the Maoists operate.

The PLGA guerrillas are fighting in the ongoing People’s War led by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)], which seeks to overthrow the old Indian State and its order of oppression and exploitation. The CPI (Maoist) describes the old Indian State as a “puppet of international corporate companies” led by “the fascist [Narendra] Modi.”

As the head of the old State, Modi is a comprador, making deals with imperialist corporations and countries, facilitating the exploitation of the Indian people. The People’s War is organizing the oppressed and exploited masses to fight against this system of exploitation, backed by US imperialism, and consequently the Indian State considers the Maoists the greatest threat to ‘internal security.’

In September, Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah and other State officials announced Operation Prahaar 3, a one-year plan intended to eliminate the presence of PLGA guerrillas in ten states where they are active. This is by no means the first counterinsurgency campaign from the Indian State; previous initiatives including Operation Green Hunt not only targeted combatants but tortured and raped civilians. The State routinely stages ‘fake encounters’ in which State forces kill peasants and claim they are guerrillas in order to promote the image that the PLGA is weak and the State is winning the war.

In the face of this reactionary, anti-people campaign, progressives and revolutionaries around the world expressed their solidarity with the CPI (Maoist) and the People’s War in India on a national day of action on November 24.

On December 9, suspected PLGA combatants attacked a construction site in the Gariaband district of Chhattisgarh, setting fire to a tractor and three other machines. Just three days earlier, Maoist guerrillas allegedly destroyed a road roller in Eturnagaram, Telangana, leaving behind a note urging the people to make the 21st anniversary of the PLGA a great success. Construction sites in rural areas are a major target for the insurgents, as they are meant to build roads and infrastructure that would allow the State’s security forces to gain access to the isolated and difficult-to-reach areas of the countryside where the Maoists operate. These construction projects also benefit the big landlords, displacing peasants in the process and destroying their livelihoods.

On November 23, a cell phone tower and city official’s building were blown up in the Aurangabad district of Bihar, allegedly by PLGA members, during a bandh (armed general strike) called for in protest of arrest and torture of 4 members of the Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist) and the massacre of 26 unarmed revolutionaries. According to villagers in the area, the sabotage was intended to disrupt the State’s communications. During the bandh, which occurred from November 23 to 25, trains were slowed in fear that Maoists would blow up train tracks as they allegedly had the week before.

Another train was derailed on November 26 in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, and Maoists allegedly hung a banner on the train and left pamphlets asking the people in different Indian states to observe another bandh on the following day.

On the same day, in another act against state infrastructure, the PLGA allegedly killed a man who worked for the State in various infrastructure projects in Narayanpur, Chhattisgarh. The alleged PLGA members also set fire to a construction machine used to make roads before leaving. A banner was found in the area, which stated that the Maoist Nelnar Area Committee was responsible for killing the man because, despite being warned to stop, he continued to play an active role in construction work supporting the State’s counterinsurgency efforts.

A police station was blown up in the Gumla district in Jharkhand on the same day. According to the police, 70 to 80 Maoists entered the building, escorted workers out, and then triggered multiple blasts.

The repression that the CPI (Maoist) faces does not stop them and only strengthens their resolve. They write: “The fascist ruling clique of Modi and Amit Shah are the real threat and most dangerous to the lives and property of the people of this country. The ruling clique is preparing to root-out the revolutionary movement without solving the life and death problems of this country. … Prahar and other repressive campaigns will not stop the revolutionary movements. We are appealing to the masses to intensify the mass upsurge for the victory of Indian new democratic revolution. Let us fight up to [the] last and achieve final victory.”

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