Centre puts out hit-list against Maoist leadership
In response to the deadly Sukma attack that killed 25 CRPF jawans, the Centre has given security forces a hit-list of the top leadership of the Naxalite movement. They said the aim was to break the morale of the Naxals by taking out leaders like Raghu, Papa Rao, and Hidma. It is unclear when the forces would begin their operations.
The Sukma attack
On 24 April, over 400 Naxals of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) led by naxal commander Hidma, ambushed a CRPF convoy and killed at least 25 CRPF soldiers. It was one of the deadliest attacks in the region.
The Naxalite problem in Bastar
There are approximately 4000 Naxals in Bastar who are aided by 10,000 to 12,000 militia. Of these there are at least 200-250 area commanders who travel between states for co-ordinating activities, gathering funds etc. The main commanders forces are looking for include south Bastar divisional commander Raghu, head of Jagargunda area committee Papa Rao, and commander of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army Hidma.
How will forces tackle the issue?
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has given CRPF clearance to engage all high-value targets and Naxal leaders in the area to destroy Naxal morale. The forces have been promised as much back-up and technical support that they would need. These include UAVs, foliage penetrating radar and Dhruv helicopters. Forces will first have to gather intelligence on the locations of these leaders.