14:12 GMT22 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Several regions in India are affected by Maoists or Naxalites, which have been operating for several decades now. According to the Home Ministry, over 8,000 people have lost their lives between 2004 and 2019 as a result of the militants' activity in different parts of the country; most of the victims are from scheduled tribes.

    On Sunday (19 January) night, a female Maoist was killed during a special operation in the Bijapur district of central India's Chhattisgarh state by the country's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The operation was launched after a drone was spotted over the security camps.

     “During one such operation, an encounter took place between the Maoists and our group in the forest area of Tekalgudem village, which is considered a red hot spot for Naxals. The CRPF found the body of a female Maoist during a search after the encounter,” said a senior CRPF officer.

    Security forces have also recovered three rifles from the spot while search operations in the neighbouring areas were still underway; they lasted until Monday.

    “Special search operations were launched after a drone-like object was sighted flying over a CRPF camp in a highly Naxal-affected area in the neighbouring Sukma district on Saturday (18 January),” the official added.

    Alleged drones were spotted flying over the security forces camps in October as well, the official said.

    According to data provided by Chhattisgarh Police, in 2019 as many as 79 Naxals were killed in 116 encounters with the security forces of the state, while 22 security personnel also lost their lives, in addition to 46 civilians. During the period, 484 Naxals surrendered and 308 were apprehended by the security forces.

    The federal Home Ministry contends that members of the Naxalite party are Left Wing Extremists with the “aim to overthrow the existing democratic state structure with violence as their primary weapon…and plan to usher in a so-called ‘New Democratic Revolution’ in India”.  

    There are several splinter groups of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), an underground political party founded in 2004, which aims to overthrow the government through a popular uprising or 'people’s war'.  They claim to espouse the rights of the tribes in the forest belts and accuse the government of exploiting and ruining the natural resources of those regions.

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    Tags:
    Central Reserve Police Force, tribal, Indian Home Ministry, Naxalites, Naxals, Chhattisgarh, India, New Delhi
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