RAIPUR: Pressure of increased action by security forces in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra has prompted Left wing extremists to work on developing a red corridor in Madhya Pradesh.The movement and operation of armed Naxals—which has been confined Balaghat district (the only Naxal-hit region in the state) since the 90s—has now been reported from adjoining Mandla district.A group of 15-25 Naxals of the Vistaar Dalam’s cadre armed with vintage musket rifles and AK-47 assault rifles is working on vistaar (expansion) plans in Mandla district, with an intent to spread to Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh.
According to specific inputs with Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh police, the group has held meetings with sympathisers in Garhi area of Balaghat district.The group, comprising three to four women Naxals, has been spotted in areas spanning from Kavrdha (Kabirdham) district of Chhattisgarh to Moti Nala in Mandla district via Garhi area of Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh.The Vistaar Dalam’s cadre comprises largely Naxals from Rajnandgaon and Bastar regions of Chhattisgarh.
The movement reported in July only comes a few weeks after two Naxals—believed to belong to Vistaar Dalam—were killed by police last month in Gandai-Sukhtara of Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh. Only three Naxal groups—Malajkhand, Darre Khasa and Tanda Dalam—are active in Balaghat.
According to sources in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh police, the Naxals plan to penetrate deep into unexplored Madhya Pradesh. In August-September last year, anti-Naxal forces in Chhattisgarh had recovered 30-plus pages of a typed document from a Naxal hideout in the jungles of Chuuikhadan (Rajnandgaon). The documents contained details about plans to build a new war zone/corridor in Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori on the critical tri-junction of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
The planned red corridor, which passes through Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, could be a safe passage in case of action by security forces.
The new group is being seen as the start of a larger plan by Naxals to spread to Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, and over the years, till the state’s thermal power belt in Singrauli district, which borders Naxal-affected Sonebhadra and Mirzapur districts of East Uttar Pradesh, sources said.
Madhya Pradesh Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Makarand Deuskar said the movement of the new Naxal group has prompted the state police to enhance patrolling by anti-Naxal Black Hawk Force, Special Armed Force and district police in Balaghat and Mandla district.
Till now, nine police stations in Balaghat district were Naxal-affected. No major incident, however, has been reported in 2017. Last year Naxals killed two police informers, including a Class IX student in Balaghat.
In May-June 2017, Balaghat police busted a conduit by arresting three men, including a former sarpanch and a contractor, who routed money extorted from contractors supervising tendu plucking and bamboo cutting operations, the major source of Naxal funding.“We are working jointly with teams of Mandla police in the wake of the new movement of the Naxals,” said Amit Sanghi, Superintendent of Police, Balaghat.
A new Naxal group called Vistaar Dalam plans to penetrate deep into unexplored Madhya Pradesh
The planned red corridor passes through Kanha Tiger Reserve and will be a safe passage in case of action by security forces