Crackdown in Sukma vital to combat Naxal menace
The Sukma district in the extreme South Bastar of Chhattisgarh lies on the tri-junction of three states- Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra - with the Maoists dominating the region through an extensive network of ‘Janatana Sarkar’ units coupled with dreaded guerrilla fighter battalions.
“The Naxals have inflicted maximum causalities on security forces in the Sukma region, including the killing of 76 security personnel in Tadmetla in 2010, which clearly shows the intensity of their dominance in the region,” Professor Girishkant Pandey, head, Department of Defence Studies at Government Science College said.
“Unless security forces gain control over the South Sukma forests, it would not be easy for them to win the war against Naxals in Bastar,” he said.
The three insurgency-riddled areas – Jharkhand-Bihar border, Abhujmad and Sukma region of Dandakaranya in Chhattisgarh have been consistently claimed by Maoists as their base points.
Though the CRPF and local police achieved success in weakening the rebels on the Bihar-Jharkhand border, in the other two areas, they still need to make effective incursions, he said.
The quadrilateral patch of Sukma, from Dornapal to Kistaram and Bhejji to Jagargunda onGolappalli track (spread in area of 4000 sq km in South Bastar), not only helps the Naxals in movement across Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra through Chhattisgarh, but also for aids their guerrilla warfare training amid dense forests and inaccessible terrain, Pandey said.
The killing of seven Special Task Force men in Pidmel (Polampalli) early this month and 14 CRPF men in Kasalpada (Chintagufa) in December last year have once again raised questions over the police plan and action in this area, which had earlier also witnessed number of Naxal ambushes, he said.
“Security forces have to break the influential Janatana Sarkar network of Maoists in the region and penetrate into their core areas with a new strategy,” Pandey suggested.
According to police, around 8,000 security personnel, including Central Armed Forces, are deployed in Sukma district and with the support of administration, efforts are on to gradually move inside while winning the heart and confidence of the people.