Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect

Chhattisgarh is now a stronghold of up to 4,000 well–armed Maoists, who freely roam the forests of southern Chhattisgarh in what locals call the ‘red zone’

WAILING parents scooped up the bones of loved ones as eight cremated corpses smouldered by the road, the latest victims of a Maoist rebel war that has put tens of thousands of tribal people in the crossfire.

“Where were the police? They were drunk, hiding with their weapons,” shouted Gopal Ran Udhe, who lost his son in a Maoist attack on a nearby police post that killed 55 police and tribal militia members in one of India’s worst rebel attacks in decades.

The ashes spread out over the grass were ankle deep. Tribal people burned incense and picked a few remaining bones to throw to the river in a traditional Hindu ritual.

 

Over 6,000 people have died in the current Maoist rebellion, which stretches across huge areas of central India. But the AP provides little context to help us understand the Maoists (or Naxalites as the Indian government calls them, based on their home state of Naxalbari).
They aren’t just killing policemen for the hell of it. The Naxalite rebellion is a product of the expansion of mineral production into rural, and especially, “tribal” areas. Chattisgarh, where the policemen died this week, is a hotspot. As Randeep Ramesh reported from the region in April 2006:
In the past year the state has armed thousands of villagers with guns, spears and bows and arrows. Child soldiers are often ranged against opponents of similar age. In Chhattisgarh a battalion of Indian paramilitary forces has backed this militia, known as Salva Judum (Peace March), against the Naxalites, turning the forest into a battlefield.
Entire villages have been emptied as tribal communities flee from the burnings, lootings and killings. The civil conflict has left more than 50,000 people camping under tarpaulin sheets without work or food along the roadsides of southern Chhattisgarh.
 

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