In what could turn out to be one of the most successful operations, Maharashtra police have been able to nab and kill at least 25 heavyweight urban Naxals in the state. The list also includes Milind Teltumde, currently one of the biggest names of the Naxal insurgency in India.
Atleast 26 Naxalites killed by Police
According to a report by the Left-wing portal TheWire, Dilip Walse Patil, home minister of Maharashtra has confirmed that at least 26 Naxalite insurgents have been killed in Naxal affected Gadhchiroli district of Maharashtra. According to the official statement, a 10-hour long operation by the state police inside the dense Gyarapatti forest in Dhanura taluka ended at 4 PM on Saturday, 13th November.
Three slain Naxals carried a total reward of 86 lakhs on their heads
State police released the slain Naxalites list on the morning of 14th December. The list confirmed the earlier rumoured killing of Milind Teltumde, a close aide of Prakash Ambedkar, the eldest grandson of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. Before his death, the dreaded Naxalite was working as head of the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh zone of the banned CPI (Maoist). He has been involved in various Maoist-led violence for the last 25 years. The government had announced a reward of 50 lakhs for anyone who could hand him over to the police.
The police have identified a total of 16 Naxalites gunned down in the operation. The list also includes Bhagatsingh alias Pradeep alias Tilak Mankur Jade, the bodyguard of Teltumbde. Two divisional committee members Mahesh alias Shivaji Raoji Gota and Lokesh alias Mangu Podyam alias Madkam have also been killed by 16 teams of C-60 commandos, with a total strength of over 500 personnel. Combined, they carried rewards of a total of 36 lakhs on their heads.
Urban Naxals-A soft but more tyrannical version of Naxalism
As the Modi government embarked on a new mission to gun down the violent Naxals, their urban peers started to create sympathy for them into the minds of gullible Indians. The Maoist rebels are now using technology and increasingly covert methods to expand their presence in the country. The security agencies, therefore, are no longer up against jungle-based left-wing radicals. In fact, they are relying on hideous methods like forming a cross-border coalition of left-wing radicals.
By breaking the back of the Naxalite movement in Gadhchirolli, the government has been able to compound on its gains made in other Naxal-affected areas of India. The further steps by the government should include streamlining the devolution on the government benefits to earlier unserved regions of the state. On top of that, the government needs to weed out the left-wing, Maoism-promoting literature, academicians, and urban Naxals from the public space.