As it is written on the website demvolkedienen.org, cadres of the CPI(Maoist) lead a successful attack against elite soldiers of the Indian state this first of May. Using an improvised explosive device (IED), they killed 15 members of the elite police commandos and their driver in Gadhchiroli in central India.
The attack was very well planned. Beforehand, in a separate attack nearby, 36 vehicles of a road construction company were set ablaze. In the rural parts of India roads are mostly build to transport troops and equipment to wage war against the people into the forests. Most of the time there is only one big road. So following the first attack, troops of the quick response team (QRT) were then sent to secure the area, using the Dadapur Road. On their way, cadres of the CPI(Maoist) were waiting for them, hidden on the side of the Road. They had laid out this trap for them, knowing they would drive by them.
It was the deadliest attack the CPI(Maoist) carried out since 2017. Now this very successful and justified action against the rotten Indian state has to been inspected very carefully to understand its full importance.
First of all it happened in the context of the general elections that will end on May 19th, as the latest of actions in the campaign for electoral boycott. Not only in that aspect it was an important victory.
Also, the attack happened only days after the end of “martyr’s week” on April 28. In this week the CPI (Maoist) is traditionally remembering its fallen comrades. They commemorated especially the killing of 40 fallen comrades in April of last year amongst them the senior comrade Ramko Narote.
But the attacks were are also very important strategically. The CPI (Maoist) has become very active in in the North of Gadhchiroli district, especially in recent months.
Just before the attack over 200 armed cadres were in the area, according to state officials. Amongst them were Company 4, Kurkheda-Korchi-Khobramenda and Tippagarh dalams, and other formations under this North Gadhchiroli division of the Dandakaranaya-zone.
Those troops have come from a newly built guerrilla zone: the so-called Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh-zone, or MMC. This guerrilla zone has just been built up, following a regroupment of troops starting in September 2018. They have built a linked corridor in the MMC-zone. This corridor, which is heavily forested, serves now as a passage from the old battle zones to the new ones.
The reason for this linked corridor is nor entirely clear. In a report back from Sept 2018 it says that the CPI (Maoist) most likely wants to build a connection between the old battle zones (namely Odisha and Jharkhand) with the new ones (especially Balaghat-Rajnandgaon-Kabirdham-Gondia). This is however not so clear. There has been a letter from February 2017 that is describing the difficult situation in Bastar. But no matter the exact plans, the recent attack shows that the new offensive is successful!
However there is one change in the working style of the CPI (Maoist) that is a bit more clear-cut. It can be noticed that especially with the recent campaign for electoral boycott, there has been a change in tactics on the question of arms. A police official told the hindustantimes “The Maoists have changed their strategy after Rao took charge. They are focusing on IEDs and not engaging themselves in gunfights. Since last year, every major attack was carried out using IEDs because they are safe and we have no strategy to contain them. ...”
Of course, what he is talking about General Secretary, the great leader of the CPI (maoist) for long time, Ganapathi resigning in 2018. The new General Secretary, Nambala Keshav Rao, also known as Comrade Basavaraju has been a vital force in the struggle to advance the strategies of the people’s war. And really, since the beginning of the year most of the attacks were carried out with explosives. With the killing of the leading BJP-Legislator of Chhattisgarh, an important Poll official in Odissa and now the Gadhchiroli attack, the results do speak for themselves.
Long live the CPI (Maoist)! Long live People's War!