Guerrillas in the Mist

01 April 2010
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THE HOME MINISTER called Operation Green Hunt “an invention of the media,” but the Centre is preparing to launch an attack on the Maoist headquarters in Chhattisgarh. A bulk of the Central Reserve Police Force sent to quell the violence in Maoist-affected states have received supplementary training to tackle what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls “the single biggest threat to India’s security.”

In 2009, the Central government realised that for effective anti-Maoist operations, a coordinated approach in affected contiguous states was required. So the Chhattisgarh Counter-Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker became the base for training various government forces to ‘fight the guerrilla—like a guerrilla.’

The college trains up to 3,600 personnel a year in everything needed for fighting in the central Indian forests, from surviving ambushes to killing and eating snakes for survival. The Chhattisgarh police headquarters says the programme has led to a drop in personnel fatalities, even as fighting has intensified recently.

Harikrishna Katragadda is a freelance photographer. His photos have appeared in Stern, Geo, Missio Aktuel, Internazionale, Mint and The Hindustan Times amongst others.

Keywords: Operation Green Hunt Chattisgarh Harikrishna Katragadda Maoists CTJW