Tarrem attack – How Maoists Still Manage to Attack Security Forces?

Synopsis: The tarrem attack points out that the declining Maoists remain a strong military threat.


Over 20 paramilitary personnel died in an encounter with the Maoists in the Tarrem area near Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. There is a long-running conflict in this remote tribal region. 

  • Reports point out a Maoist surprise attack on the paramilitary personnel.
  • Forces were performing search operations in Maoist strongholds. The timing of these search operations matches with the Maoists’ attempt to disrupt the construction of a road near Silger-Jagargunda.
How has the Maoist presence evolved over the years in the impacted area?

The Maoist insurgency first began as the Naxalite movement in the 1970s and then intensified after 2004. Later two prominent insurgent groups merged together and this remains a mindless guerrilla-driven militant movement. 

Security forces managed to clear the majority of the areas of the Maoists. The majority of their leaders are either killed or caught. However, their stronghold in the south Bastar is still intact. It is due to the following reasons:

  1. First, there is a lack of road and telecommunications infrastructure in these remote areas. Maoists are able to use the terrain to their advantage.
  2. Second, These groups still manage to recruit people from these remote areas. People living in these tribal areas either untouched by welfare or there are discontents due to state repression.
  3. Third, Maoists also know that state crackdown after the violence provides them with more recruits. Thus, violence is useful for them.
  • The State also knows that the route to violence provides Maoists with new supporters. Thus, we require methods other than the crackdown.
  • Before Tarrem attacks came right after a recent peace march held by civil society activists. They were asking for a dialogue between the Maoists and the Chhattisgarh government to end the violence. According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal the violence has claimed more than 10,000 lives since 2000 alone.
  • Thus, the Civil Society’s call for peace should not be ignored. This is the only way for lasting peace in the region.

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