[Despite ongoing claims of imminent demise of Maoist forces, the Indian State remains obsessed over the continuing growth of the people’s movements and People’s War. Two major newspapers, known for reporting the “official” views, describe their worries in the following articles from the Hindustan Times and ZeeNews. While the accuracy of their assessments cannot be confirmed, the adage “time will tell” certainly applies. — Frontlines ed.]
In bad news for security forces, Maoists have managed to form a Red corridor that gives them easy movement and safe passage through three states – Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
The term Red corridor has so far been used for the entire naxal-infested region in India that includes the three states as well as parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
But recent interrogation of arrested cadre has revealed it now literally means a narrow but contiguous strip that runs from the southern tip of Chhattisgarh to central Jharkhand – the two key theatres of naxal violence.
Such a corridor would be crucial to the Maoist strategy of enabling free and safe movement of its military companies from one battlefield to another.
Government sources told HT that Maoists arrested in recent weeks, including a courier, had confirmed the corridor was now in use.
“A corridor is essentially a question of support structures. In recent times, they have strengthened themselves in Odisha’s heavily-forested Naupada district,” a home ministry official said.
This means Maoists have managed to build a reasonable support base among the local population along the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border, right up to Jharkhand’s Gumla district. Continue reading →
[Produced three years ago, this video report from New York-based Free Speech Radio News, provided an interesting view of the Maoist base in what the Indian bourgeois media calls (with some hyperbole) “the red corridor.” — Frontlines ed.]
Adivasi students in West Bengal protest army occupation of schools
Gladson Dungdung (Guest Contributor, Sanhati)
The Indian Government and the Indian Media are repeatedly telling us that a ninety-two thousand square kilometres geographical area covering 170 districts in 9 states of India is out of control of the Indian State. The vicinity is full of the natural resources including a variety of minerals, forests and water sources. The territory is ruled by the Maoists therefore the Government has branded it as the ‘Red Corridor’.
Actually, the area is highly Adivasi dominated and therefore should be called the ‘Adivasi Corridor’. And of course, it is their homeland. The Indian State has been carrying on a major offensive in the Red Corridor since October 2009 to clear the land. In the latest development, the British Company “Execution Nobel limited” has estimated a business of $80 billion if the area is liberated from the Maoists. Consequently, the government is determined to cleanse the Maoists by 2013 by taking all required steps.
Meanwhile, on 1 April, 2010 (the day is observed as a “Fools Day” and many attempt to fool others), the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh appeared on the television channels addressing the Nation on the occasion of enforcing the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and declared the day as a historic day for Indians. Perhaps, hardly anyone from the Red Corridor saw him in the television channels, as survival and protection are the biggest questions for them rather than hearing about their rights to education coming out of the auspicious mouth of the Prime Minister. Continue reading →
[This otherwise informative article from the business publicationBloomberg Markets repeats the false charge that a Maoist-allied organization of adivasis (tribal people) derailed a passenger train in West Bengal recently, killing over 100 passengers-ed.]
July 29, 2010
India’s Maoist Menace
by Mehul Srivastava
Armed rebels hold the Red Corridor, a region the size of Portugal, in their grip. The nation’s mineral wealth and 8.5% percent annual growth are at stake.
At the heart of the Bailadila Hills in central India lie 1.1 billion tons of raw ore so pure and so plentiful that half a century after miners first hacked at it with pickaxes, it remains the richest, and one of the largest, iron deposits on the planet. Essar Steel Ltd. built a plant near the hills in 2005 to turn the ore into a liquid. The Mumbai-based company, controlled by billionaire brothers Ravi and Shashi Ruia, added a 267-kilometer pipeline to pump the slurry to the east coast, where Essar makes steel.
Yet on this quiet June day , cobwebs hang on rusted pipes in the all-but-abandoned facility, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September 2010 issue. Caretakers prepare to switch truck-size rock crushers out of their coma, rousing the machines for five minutes a month to ensure they still work.
Maoist rebels from the surrounding Dandakaranya forest armed with guns and explosives — and some wielding axes and bows and arrows — attacked the facility four times in little more than a year, officials at the now-mothballed plant say. They burned 54 trucks waiting at factory gates in April 2008 and damaged part of the slurry pipeline, the world’s second longest, in June 2009. Essar idled the plant that month. Continue reading →