BY SHANKAR ANAND
The latest deadly Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, in which 27 Congressmen (including some senior leaders) were killed, has again brought the issue of Naxalism into the forefront.
According to sources, the audacious attack has been carried out jointly by Naxal cadres from Chhattisgarh, Andra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Orissa. Read below for more information revealed by reliable sources on the ground.
- The three main people associated with the attack were Gaganna, Gudsa Usendi, and Ganapathi (alias Ganesh VK). Gudsa was at the forefront of planning the entire operation while Gaganna led the front attack group during the operation. Involvement of politburo member K Sudarshan in the planning of the attack is also suspected.
- This was a three-pronged attack and was carried out under the leadership of Naxal cadre from Andhra Pradesh.
- The cadres were divided into three groups. The group, led by senior Naxal leader from Andhra Pradesh Gaganna, was in the forefront of the attack on the convoy of Congress leaders passing through Darba Ghaati area.
- The second group comprised naxal cadres from Jharkhand and Orissa and it provided backup to the Naxals carrying out the attack in the front.
- The third and the final group was led by a Naxal commander from Chhattisgarh and its main task was to provide security cover to the attack group and also keep a watch on possible movements from security forces if any. Their task was to keep the first and the second group updated with information as being locals they were better placed to do this task. As the news of the attack spread, local journalists tried to reach the spot but they were discouraged to visit the area by this third group of naxals.
- According to Alok Shukla and Bikas Sharma, two local journalists, around 500 Naxals participated in the attack. Shukla also did not rule out the hand of some local leaders in facilitating the deadly attack as some of the injured politicians had pointed to the fact that a local leader had advised a last minute route change.
- Some of the eyewitness who were injured in the attack said the Naxals were neither able to speak properly in Hindi nor in the local language.
- Vinod alias Pandu, who trains naxal cadres of Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, also played a crucial role in this attack. Pandu is believed to be a close associate of top Andhra Pradesh Naxal leader Ramanna.
- According to sources, around 70-80 female Naxal cadres trained by Pandu in border area of Malanjkhand played a lead role in this attack.
(Shankar Anand is a Deputy Editor at Three Headed Lion, a leading distributed market intelligence, research & risk management company. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)