Maoist rebels in India, in the continuing struggle of their decades-long uprising, attacked an Indian paramilitary patrol Monday, killing 24 commandos and injuring another six in the Sukma district of Chhattisgargh.
The deadliest attack in recent years was launched against the patrol party of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), who were working to build roads in the area, in efforts to hunt down the Maoists, also known as the Naxalites.
The Maoist insurgency, which started as a peasant uprising in 1967, has been dubbed “the biggest internal security threat” by the Indian state and security officials, a sentiment echoed by the current neo-fascist prime minister of India, Narendra Modi.
As such, Modi called Monday’s attack “cowardly.”
The Indian government, in 2009, launched Operation Green Hunt, a paramilitary offensive against the rebels that is currently ongoing in the “Red Corridor” region, or the states in central India where the Maoists live and operate.
The rebels are a part of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) that is one of the several descendants of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). Many of its insurgents are the poor, marginalized tribal peoples known as the adivasis, many of whom are also landless farmers that have been mercilessly exploited by mining corporations and the Indian state for a number of decades.
Millions of adivasis have experienced land grabs by these corporations for the mining of iron ore, bauxite, uranium, limestone, copper, coal and 22 other precious mineral resources. The guerillas, therefore, launched their uprising in 1967 and have been waging an armed struggle against this exploitation ever since.
Arundhati Roy, the acclaimed Indian writer and activist, who spent several days with the rebels in their stronghold in a forest in Dandakaranya back in 2010, has written extensively of the communist insurgency in her political expose, “Walking With the Comrades.”
As a rebel named Venu told her back then, "(Government troops) want to crush us not only because of the minerals but because we are offering the world an alternative model."
Monday’s attack, then, was a major victory for the rebels who have seen increased paramilitary violence and brute force inflicted upon them in recent years.