Raipur, Jul 26 (PTI) Chhattisgarh police believe the chain of command in a key Naxal unit in Dantewada district may have eroded resulting in escalation of differences among the ultras and its leadership.
A senior police official on Sunday said the Naxals' Darbha division, which controls Maoist activities in parts of Bastar, Dantewada and Sukma districts, has been struggling due to this erosion of chain of command as villagers in many parts have been subjected to a 'brutal approach' by some top ultras.
Three self-styled Naxal committees, namely Kanger Ghati in Bastar, Katekalyan (Sukma) and Malangir (Dantewada), form the Darbha division, he added.
'Local intelligence inputs suggest top leaders of the Darbha division are in confrontation mode after few incidents, that have rarely happened earlier, took place in Dantewada,' Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.
On July 17, at least 25 villagers were injured, eight of them seriously, after Naxals assaulted them for approaching authorities demanding roads and a school in Parcheli village.
Earlier this month, Maoists suffered a blow when they abducted the parents of a policeman but later had to free them unharmed due to pressure from local villagers, he said.
Another incident that hit the division was when ultras killed their two lower rung colleagues on July 21 after the duo opposed the decision of a Maoist commander to demolish roads and bridges in the area, the IG said.
'This is not something heard often. These incidents are worrying Darbha division leaders, as it is among the strongest ones in the Maoists' Dandakarnya Special Zonal Committee which handles activities in south Chhattisgarh and border areas of Telangana, Odisha and Maharashtra,' he said.
He said a senior Darbha division member, identified as Vinod, is against the brutal approach another ultra Deva has taken against villagers in the region.
'Although it would be too early to call it a revolt within the Naxal cadre base, nevertheless it clearly indicates the eroding chain of command within this unit. We are keeping a close eye on every development and taking strategic action accordingly,' Sundarraj said.
Meanwhile, DR Girishkant Pandey, expert and Registrar of Pt Ravishankar Shukla University Raipur, said development works that have taken place in Bastar in the last one decade have changed the ground scenario to a large extent.
'Now books and civic amenities are enticing youth rather than Maoist guns and uniforms. Earlier, ideologically strong and educated youth, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, used to head local area committees and other crucial units. But now they have either been killed, grown old or have quit the movement,' Pandey said.
The proscribed outfit is now facing a dearth of leaders who are well versed in ground operations as well as coordination, he said.
'Lower rung members are now on key area committees and divisions and this is resulting in rifts in the organisation.
The link between the over-ground network and the cadre has also been hampered. Police must take advantage now to hit the Maoist movement hard,' Pandey said. PTI TKP BNM BNM