Communist Party of India (Maoist): Wikis


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Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Leader Muppala Lakshmana Rao under nom de guerre "Ganapati"
Founded September 21, 2004
Ideology Communism,
Political position Far-left
People's March
Politics of India
Political parties

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is a violent underground Maoist political party in India which aims to overthrow the government of India.[1] It was founded on September 21, 2004, through the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's War and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC). The merger was announced to the public on October 14 the same year. In the merger a provisional central committee was constituted, with PW leader Ganapathi as General Secretary.[2]

The CPI (Maoist) are often referred to as Naxalites in reference to the violent Naxalbari insurrection conducted by radical Maoists in West Bengal in 1967.

In 2006 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh referred to the Naxalites as "the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country."[3][4] The Indian government, led by the United Progressive Alliance, banned the CPI (Maoist) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as a terrorist organisation on 22 June 2009.

As of October 2009, this group is believed to be present in 20 out of 29 states in India.[5]



Communism in India

Communist Party of India

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Naxalbari uprising
Communist Party of India (M-L)
Liberation - New Democracy
Janashakti - PCC - 2nd CC
Red Flag - Class Struggle
Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist)

A. K. Gopalan
E. M. S. Namboodiripad
B. T. Ranadive
Charu Majumdar
Jyoti Basu
S. A. Dange
Shibdas Ghosh
T. Nagi Reddy

Tebhaga movement

World Communist Movement

Communism Portal

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, the two factions adhered to differing strands of communism prior to their 2004 merger although "both organizations shared their belief in the 'annihilation of class enemies' and in extreme violence as a means to secure organizational goals." The People's War Group (PWG) maintained a Marxist-Leninist stance while the MCC took a Maoist stance. After the merger, the PWG secretary of Andhra Pradesh announced the newly formed CPI-Maoist would follow Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as its "ideological basis guiding its thinking in all spheres of its activities." Included in this ideology is a commitment to "protracted armed struggle" to undermine and to seize power from the state.[2]

The ideology of the merged group is contained in a "Party Programme." In the document, the Maoists denounce globalization as a war on the people by market fundamentalists and the caste system as a form of social oppression.[6]

It is claimed by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) that it is conducting 'people's war', a strategical line developed by Mao Zedong during the phase of guerrilla warfare of the Communist Party of China. The eventual objective is to install a "people’s government" via a "New Democracy Revolution".

The party also views Islamist militancy as a struggle towards national liberation against imperialism, rather than as a clash of civilizations, and condones it as having parallel goals to the group's own. In the words of deputy leader Koteshwar Rao, or Kishanji: "The Islamic upsurge should not be opposed as it is basically anti-US and anti-Imperialist in nature. We, therefore, want it to grow."[6]


Currently it has presence in remote regions of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh as well as presence in Bihar and the tribal-dominated areas in the borderlands of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Orissa. The CPI (Maoist) aims to consolidate its power in this area and establish a Compact Revolutionary Zone from which to advance the people's war in other parts of India.[2]

A 2005 Frontline Cover Story called the Bhamragad Taluka where the Madia Gond Adivasis live, the heart of the naxalite-affected region in Maharashtra.[7]


The military wings of the respective organisations, People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (military wing of MCCI) and People's Guerrilla Army (military wing of PW), were also merged. The name of the unified military organisation is People's Liberation Guerrilla Army. P.V. Ramana, of the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi estimates the Naxilities' current strength at 9,000 -10,000 armed fighters, with access to about 6,500 firearms.[8] Other estimates by Indian intelligence officials and Maoist leaders suggest that the rebel ranks in India number between 10,000 and 20,000, with at least 50,000 active supporters.[4][9]



Governance tactics

In their efforts to intimidate and consolidate control, the Naxalites tax local villagers, extort businesses, abduct and kill "class enemies" such as government officials and police officers, and prevent aid from getting through to people who need it.[4] To help fill their ranks, the Maoists force each family under their domain to supply one family member and threaten those who resist with violence.[10]

The organisation has been holding 'Public Court' which at best can be described as a kangroo courts dealing with cases were local people have opposed maoist skulduggery. These "courts" function in maoist occupied areas where police and administration does not have a permanent presence or does not venture into without additional specialized combat forces.[citation needed]

Military tactics

It retains the tactics of its predecessor Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's War of rejecting parliamentary democracy and capturing political power through protracted armed struggle based on guerrilla warfare. This strategy entails building up of bases in rural and remote areas and transforming them first into guerrilla zones and then as "liberated zones", besides the area-wise seizure and encircling cities.

The military hardware used by Maoists, as proved through a number of seizures, include RDX cable wires, gelatine sticks, detonators, country-made weapons, INSAS rifles, AK-47s, SLR and improvised explosive devices. According to MHA reports, the CRPF seized over 6000 kg of explosives in Bihar and 893 kg in Jharkhand till October 2008. Security forces also recovered codex wire in Jharkhand for the first time, a highly potent explosive with a blast-range of up to 720 meters, which has so far been used only by modern national armies (The Telegraph, 16 October 2008).


The principal funding for the Maoists comes from abductions, extortion and looting. They also set up unofficial administrations to collect taxes in rural areas where official government appears absent.[4][11]

Another major source of funding for Maoists comes from poppy cultivation reported from the Ghagra area of Gumla district in Jharkhand and in parts of Gumla, Kishanganj and Purnia districts in Bihar. Security forces claim that opium fields are screened and hidden behind peripheral maize cultivation. The Naxals are also believed to be patronizing hemp cultivation to fund their activities as reported from Debagarh district in Orissa.[12]

Legal status

Organizations listed as terrorist groups by India
Northeastern India
National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)
Naga National Council-Federal (NNCF)
National Council of Nagaland-Khaplang
United Liberation Front of Asom
People's Liberation Army
Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
Zomi Revolutionary Front
Al-Badr Mujahideen
Al Barq (ABQ)
Al Fateh Force (AFF)
Al Jihad Force (AJF)/Al Jihad
Al Mujahid Force (AMF)
Al Umar Mujahideen (AUR/Al Umar)
Awami Action Committee (AAC)
Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM)
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HUM)
Ikhwan-ul-Musalmeen (IUM)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
Jammat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM)
Jammat-ul-Mujahideen Almi (JUMA)
Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP)
Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF)
Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami (JKJEI)
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET)
Kul Jammat Hurriyat Conference (KJHC)
Mahaz-e-Azadi (MEA)
Muslim Janbaaz Force (MJF/Jaanbaz Force)
Muslim Mujahideen (MM)
Hizbul Mujahideen
United Jihad Council
Students Islamic Movement of India Tehreek-e-Jihad (TEJ)
Pasban-e-Islami (PEI/Hizbul Momineen HMM)
Shora-e-Jihad (SEJ)
Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TUM)
North India
Babbar Khalsa
Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Dashmesh Regiment
International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
Kamagata Maru Dal of Khalistan
Khalistan Armed Force
Khalistan Liberation Force
Khalistan Commando Force
Khalistan Liberation Army
Khalistan Liberation Front
Khalistan Liberation Organisation
Khalistan National Army
Khalistan Guerilla Force
Khalistan Security Force
Khalistan Zindabad Force
Shaheed Khalsa Force
Central India
People's war group
Balbir militias
Ranvir Sena

The party is regarded by some as a "left-wing extremist entity" and a terrorist outfit and several of their members had been arrested by the Indian Government under the defunct Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA).[2][13] The group is officially banned by the State Governments of Orissa,[14] Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, among others. The party has protested these bans.[15] On 22 June 2009, the central home ministry, keeping in mind the growing unlawful activities by the group, banned it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).[16] Earlier, the union home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram had asked the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, to ban the Maoists following the Lalgarh Violence.[17]

Following the ban, the Maoists are liable for arrest under the UAPA. After the ban they are barred from holding rallies, public meetings and demonstrations, and their offices if any, will be sealed and bank account frozen.[citation needed]

Controversial organisation


They are regarded as a serious security threat and the Indian government is taking countermeasures, pulling the affected states together to coordinate their response. It says it will combine improved policing with socio-economic measures to defuse grievances that fuel the Maoist cause.[10] In 2005, State sponsored an anti-Maoist movement and called it the Salwa Judum. The group has done good work in restoring law and order in the maoist effected areas and stemming the violence of the maoists.[10] The camps are guarded by police officers, paramilitary forces and squads of local armed youths empowered with the official title "special police officer."[citation needed]

International connections

The CPI (Maoist) maintains dialogue with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) who control most of Nepal in the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) according to several intelligence sources and think tanks.[2] These links are however denied by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)[18]

While under detention in June 2009, a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative indicated that the LeT and the CPI (Maoist) had attempted to coordinate activities in Jharkhand state.[19]

Recent violent activities by Maoists

  • February 20, 2010 : Maoists killed a village guard by slitting his throat.[20]
  • February 18, 2010 : Twelve villagers were killed and 9 injured in indiscriminate firing by the Maoists in Jamui district of Bihar. The dead included three women and one child.[21] Twenty five village houses were also burned down by the Maoists.[22]
  • October 8, 2009 : About 150 Maoist ambushed a Police patrol and killed 17 Policemen in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra[23]
  • April 13, 2009: 10 paramilitary troops are killed in eastern Orissa.[27]
  • February 23, 2009: Maoists kill a contractor, sets fire in police post at Govindpalli of Malkangiri.[28][29]
  • July 16, 2008: A landmine hit a police van in Malkangiri district, killing 21 policemen.[30]
  • June 29, 2008: CPI forces attacked a boat on the Chitrakonda reservoir in Orissa carrying members of an anti-Naxalite police force. The boat sunk, killing 33 policemen, while 28 survived.[31][32]
  • In November 2007 reports emerged that the anti-SEZ movement in Nandigram in West Bengal had been infiltrated by Naxalites since February; the reports quoted unnamed intelligence sources.[33] Recently, police found weapons belonging to Maoists near Nandigram.
  • In 2008, The Hindu newspaper reported that a Maoist killed a man and publicly cannibalized him in Malkangiri district of Orissa to terrorize villagers. The alleged incident occurred in Bandiguda on August 14, 2007.[34]
  • On March 15, 2007 an attack happened in the rebel stronghold area of Dantewada, in Chhattisgarh state. Fifty-four persons, including 15 personnel of the Chhattishgarh Armed Force, were killed in an offensive by 300 to 350 CPI (Maoist) cadres on a police base camp in the Bastar region in the early hours of Thursday. The remaining victims were tribal youths of Salwa Judum, designated as Special Police Officers (SPOs) and roped in to combat the Maoists. Eleven person were injured. The attack, which lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, was spearheaded by the "State Military Commission (Maoist)", consisting of about 100 armed naxalites.[35]
  • On March 6, 2007 the CPI (Maoist) reportedly claimed responsibility for the Mahato assassination, but JMM members of the Jharkhand state cabinet, including the Chief Minister, subsequently announced that a state police investigation is under way into the authenticity of this claim. Police reportedly believe that political rivals of Mahato, including organized criminal groups, may have been behind the assassination.[36]
  • On March 5, 2007 Maoist shot dead a local Congress leader (Prakash, a member of the local Mandal Praja Parishad (MPP)) in Andhra Pradesh while he was inspecting a road construction project in Mahabubnagar district.[37]
  • On December 2, 2006 the BBC reported that at least 14 Indian policemen had been killed by Maoists in a landmine ambush near the town of Bokaro, 80 miles from Ranchi, the capital of the State of Jharkhand.[39]
  • On October 18, 2006 women belonging to the Maoist guerrilla forces blasted four government buildings in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. On the day before, over a dozen armed cadres of the group, with support from male colleagues, blocked traffic on the Antagarh-Koylibera Road in the Kanker district, near the city of Raipur. They also detonated explosives inside four buildings, including two schools, in Kanker.[40] This incident occurred two days after a major leader of the party's operations in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, Kone Kedandam, surrendered to authorities in the town of Srikakulam.[41]
  • On July 16, 2006 the Maoists attacked a relief camp in the Dantewada district where several villagers were kidnapped. The death toll was 29.[42]
  • On February 28, 2006 the Maoists attacked several anti-Maoist protesters in Erraboru village in Chhattisgarh using landmines, killing 25 people.[43]
  • On 13 November 2005 CPI (Maoist) fighters stunned authorities by attacking Jehanabad in Bihar, freeing 250 captured comrades and taking twenty imprisoned right wing paramilitaries captive, executing their leader. They also detonated several bombs in the town.[44] A prison guard was also reported killed.
  • In August 2005 Maoists kidnapped from the Dantewada district of the state of Chhattisgarh.This fiollows violent incidents in 2004 in the same region when 50 policemen and about 300 villagers were killed in the Dantewada district and over 50,000 villagers were staying in relief camps out of fear from Maoists.[45]
  • In February 2005 the CPI (Maoist) killed 7 policemen, a civilian and injured many more during a mass attack on a school building in Venkatammanahalli village, Pavgada, Tumkur, Karnataka.[46][47] On August 17, 2005, the government of Andhra Pradesh outlawed the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and various mass organizations close to it, and began to arrest suspected members and sympathizers days afterwards. The arrested included former emissaries at the peace talks of 2004.


  1. ^ Ridge, Mian (2009-10-29). "Maoists' hijacking of Indian train reveals new audacity". The Christian Science Monitor (The Christian Science Monitor). Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)". South Asia Terrorism Portal. Institute for Conflict Management. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  3. ^ "India's Naxalite Rebellion: The red heart of India". The Economist (London: The Economist Newspaper Limited). 2009-11-05. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  4. ^ a b c d Robinson, Simon (2008-05-29). "India's Secret War". Time Magazine (Time Inc.).,9171,1810169-1,00.html. 
  5. ^ Ridge, Mian (2009-10-29). "Maoists' hijacking of Indian train reveals new audacity". The Christian Science Monitor (The Christian Science Monitor). Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  6. ^ a b Anand, Vinod (2009). "Naxalite ideology, strategy and tactics" (PDF). Studies & Comments 9 - Security in South Asia: Conventional and Unconventional Factors of Destabilization (Munich: Hanns Seidel Foundation) 9: 19-32. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  7. ^ Guerilla zone, Frontline, 22(21), Oct. 08 - 21, 2005 DIONNE BUNSHA in Gadchiroli
  8. ^ A spectre haunting India, the Economist Volume 380 Number 8491 August 19th-25th 2006
  9. ^ Sengupta, Somini (2006-04-16). "In India, Maoist Guerrillas Widen 'People's War'". New York Times (New York: The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  10. ^ a b c "Caught between Rebels and Vigilantes". Reuters Alertnet (Reuters). 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  11. ^ Zissis, Carin (2008-11-27). "Backgrounder: Terror Groups in India". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Article on CPI_M,MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base
  14. ^ Eastern Indian state bans communist rebel group,The China Post
  15. ^ Maoists plan stir,The Hindu
  16. ^ "Centre bans CPI (Maoist), declares it a terror organisation". Zee News. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  17. ^ "Centre declares Maoists a terrorist organisation". Times of India. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  18. ^ "Nepali Maoists Deny Ongoing Links with Indian Counterparts" by Jason Motlagh, World Politics Review. 6/12/08
  19. ^ Madni revealed LeT links with Maoists: Police - India - The Times of India
  20. ^ Maoists kill village guard in Malkangiri district
  21. ^ Maoists kill 12 in brutal assault on Bihar village
  22. ^ Maoist attack Bihar village, 9 dead
  23. ^ Massive hunt on for Maoists who massacred 17 cops - India - The Times of India
  24. ^ Maoists behead abducted cop, Times of India, 6 October 2009
  25. ^ Maoist ape Taliban tactics- - Latest Breaking News, Big News Stories, News Videos
  26. ^ Naxals behead kidnapped cop, Taliban style
  27. ^ Troops die in India Maoist attack, BBC News Online, April 13, 2009
  28. ^ Maoist kills contractor, sets fire in police post at Govindpalli of Malkangiri, Orissa Diary, February 23, 2009
  29. ^ Contractor Prasanna Kumar Swain hacked to death, The Hindu, February 23, 2009
  30. ^ 21 Orissa policemen feared killed by Maoists, Express India, July 16, 2008
  31. ^ MHA spokesperson on Wednesday's Naxal incident in Orissa, The Cheers news agecny, July 17, 2008
  32. ^ Naxal movement entering mobile warfare phase, Merinews, July 3, 2008
  33. ^ "Reports see Maoist Hand in Nandigram", Monideepa Bannerjie, New Delhi Television, November 8, 2007.
  34. ^ "A cannibal act to strike terror". The Hindu (Chennai (Madras): The Hindu). 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2009-11-30. "Bhubaneswar: In a bid to terrorise villagers last August, a Maoist killed a man suspecting him to be a police informer and ate his flesh in full view of the public in Malkangiri district of Orissa. Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar Gajbhiye said the incident, which took place at Bandiguda, on August 14, 2007, came to light only on Sunday, during a community policing programme. “The villagers told me that Bhagat, commander of the Paplur Dalam, killed Mukunda Madhi in public view and ate his flesh to terrorise others,” he told PTI on the phone. Mukunda’s hapless family was among the onlookers, none of whom opened his mouth for fear of his life, Mr. Gajbhiye said. — PTI" 
  35. ^ Naxalites massacre policemen in Chhattisgarh, The Hindu, March 16, 2007
  36. ^ Jharkhand ministers suspect non-Maoist hand in MP's killing, RxPG News, May 17, 2007
  37. ^ [1]
  38. ^ [2]
  39. ^ 'Maoists' kill 14 Indian police', BBC, December 2, 2006
  40. ^ [3]
  41. ^ [4], New, October 18, 2006
  42. ^ 29 killed, 250 missing in Chattisgarh naxal attack,Hindustan Times
  43. ^ 25 killed in Maoist attack ,The Hindu, March 1, 2006
  44. ^ Naxalites lay siege to Jehanabad 25 killed in Maoist attack, The Hindu, November 14, 2005
  45. ^ [5],Hindustan Times
  46. ^ 6 cops killed in Naxal attack, Deccan Herald
  47. ^ Naxal attack Another cop succumbs,Deccan Herald

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