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Maoists looking to create entire new zone of operations in three states, says report

The document also shows issues that villagers are concerned about in the area to win their confidence. (Representative image)

The left-wing extremists operating in Chhattisgarh, who have largely been confined to the Bastar region in the South, are looking to create an entire new zone in the west, a Maoists document , seized by the state police has said, as per Indian Express. Areas like Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh, Gondia in Maharashtra, and northern Rajnandgaon, parts of Kabirdham and Mungeli in Chhattisgarh are covered under the new zone. In the seized document, the new area is described as MMC (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Confluence) zone. It seems that idea is to create an entity like Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee in Bastar.

The document also shows issues that villagers are concerned about in the area to win their confidence, such as land, demonetisation and differential pricing of bamboo in different states. D M Awasthi, Special DGP (Anti Naxal Operations), Chhattisgarh, was quoted by Indian Express as saying,“Yes, it is true that they are attempting to create a new zone called MMC. We are well aware of it and have been working against it. The first intimation we got about this development was in April 2016. Since then, they have been trying to build, and influence villagers for the past one year. We have taken various steps, such as organising troops and building an intelligence network. So far, they have had little success. There have been some close calls with their leadership in the area, and exchanges of fire as well, but no casualties. A new zone is indeed a matter of concern, and requires us to be especially vigilant.”

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Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh is not new to Maoist violence. In 2009, the then Suprident of Police Vinod Choubey was killed in along with 29 other policemen an ambush However, Mungeli and Kabirdham did not see much Maoist activity so far. Senior police officers while speaking to the paper have confirmed that the MMC is the first zone that the left-wing extremists are building after the BBM (Bolangir, Bargarh, Mahasamund) division under the Orissa state committee between 2006 and 2007.