A few years ago, the Maoist desk of the Intelligence Bureau sent out several detailed spiral-bound folders detailing the platoon and company level tactics of the CPI (Maoist) cadres. The literature, disseminated to every Maoist-affected district and all units of the central paramilitary forces, shows a sharp military mind behind the strategy of the Maoists operating in the states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
Much like the Chinese Military Regions (MR) which have clear demarcation of military responsibilities, the Maoists too have demarcated their areas of responsibility. Current intelligence on the Maoist political and military high command available with the security forces indicates an elaborate command-and-control structure.
Today, east, west and north Bastar are all key Maoist divisions while other divisions include the Darbha and Marh areas in and around Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and the forests of Orissa and Maharashtra. Divisions are commanded by zonal committees with most of Bastar falling under the command-and-control of the Dandakaranya special zonal committee and partially under the North Telangana special zonal committee.
Under the committee, the Maoists have special formations such as the Dandakarni Adivasi Sangh, the People’s Revolutionary Council, the Naxal companies and platoons and the Jan Militia as well as Krantikari Bal and Mahila Sanghs. Five to six villages are grouped together under a range committee; several range committees make up an area committee, which make a division.
A recent footage of Maoist training methods recovered by security forces shows the cadres training for a prolonged war. They’re being given precise training in company- and platoon-level tactics, the aim being to engage the Indian army in a future war. Conducting ambushes, flanking operations, outmanoeuvring security forces and gathering intelligence are all part of the current strategy. Maoist commanders have also begun a massive recruitment drive in the affected areas in preparation for the coming offensive.