Maoism/Naxalism is one of the most serious internal security challenges faced by India, impacting nearly one-third of the geographical area of the resource-rich heartland, with major concentrations in South Chhattisgarh (and adjoining border areas of northeast Maharashtra, Odisha, and Telangana), and Jharkhand (and few adjoining districts of Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh).
Reports also indicate increasing Maoist presence in the forested Karnataka – Tamil Nadu – Kerala border. Maoism/Naxalism is a socio-political movement in the central-south part of India where left-wing extremists aim to overthrow the existing socio-economic and political structures with violence as their primary means, and mass mobilization of the local population, in order to establish a leftist or communist regime. Therefore, it is also referred to as Left-Wing Extremism (hereafter referred to as LWE). These states in the eastern, central, and southern parts of India that experience considerable Naxalite–Maoist insurgency are collectively referred to as the Red Corridor.
The cadres (highly active members of LWE) are trained to use various forms of violence such as abduction, extortion, murder, and planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The common targets of extremist attacks are usually security personnel, government workers, corporate entities in general, and at times civilians who are suspected of being informers to the law enforcement authorities.
Over the last two decades, more than 20,000 people, including over 2,700 security forces personnel have lost their lives in LWE violence. LWE are known to extort money from the mining industry and from government officials. LWE opposes infrastructural development including roads and communication towers and has infrequently blown up pipelines and targeted industrial facilities.
From the perspective of business operations, LWE activities and the threat thereof leads to apprehension and fear among the workforce, disruption of supply chains, and heightened cost of maintaining assets – from the deployment of security personnel for perimeter security to demands of periodic levies as a guarantee (each industry, each truck and even a sack of potato has a price) for not disrupting business operations.
The Maoism Risk Review produced by the Predictive Risk Intelligence Team of MitKat Advisory Services provides a comprehensive analysis on various aspects of LWE:
- The trend in extremist activity over the last five years.
- District-wise risk rating in LWE affected states.
- Factors contributing to the prevalence of LWE – funding, networking, technology, and shortcomings in counter-extremism.
- Business recommendations
The aim of this report is to enable organizations operating in the Red Corridor in working out practical risk management strategies in order to ensure the safety of the workforce, security of assets, and therefore smooth business operations.