There has been another flare-up in the decades-old Naxalite insurgency in India. At least 22 military personnel were killed and 30 wounded in an ambush by rebels in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. The rebel casualties were estimated to be about between 10 and 15.
The Naxalites now operate in 60 districts in India, mainly in the states of Odisha (5 affected districts), Jharkhand (14 affected districts), Bihar (5 affected districts), Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh (ten affected districts), Madhya Pradesh (8 affected districts), Maharashtra (2 affected districts) and West Bengal (8 affected district). In West Bengal, areas west of Howrah are affected by the insurgency.
As many as 12,000 persons had been killed in the last two decades including 2,700 Indian soldiers.
Human Rights activists indicate that the Indian security forces sexually abuse girls and women in troubled areas where Naxalites operate. Indian soldiers who by misusing the Indian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) can rape any woman and no case can be registered against them. Back in 2004 female protesters staged a naked protest in Manipur:
"What is the use of clothes? You strip us. You can strip me, but how can you clothe me again?"
Modi government is dividing Indian society into ethnic, religious, and caste groups and this division is helping the Naxalites who say that the government protects only Braham Hindus. Separatist movements are getting the support of the common people. The BJP Modi government plays the role of catalyst with a policy of divide and rule.
For further background reading, the Socialist Standard published this brief account of the problem in 2014.