Central security agencies have undertaken a survey to ascertain the level of influence that Maoists hold in some parts of Chhattisgarh ahead of the Assembly polls.
“The idea behind the survey is to understand the Maoist influence in several districts of Chhattisgarh. With an all-out offensive against Maoists already underway in the state, the Centre wants to start several welfare schemes, including road construction and electricity, to win the trust of villagers,” said a security official attached to the Union home ministry.
Seven districts of Chhattisgarh — Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Sukma, Dantewada and Kondagaon — are worst affected by Leftwing extremism.
Bastar is currently the axis of the security offensive against the insurgents.
“Naxalism can be countered through development and the Centre wants to push several infrastructure projects, including education and health, railway lines, roads, bridges, banks and post offices,” the official said, adding that the main focus is to reassert the establishment of civil administration in Maoist strongholds.
“The Centre and the state government are jointly fighting the Naxalite menace,” he said.
He, however, declined comment on why such a survey was undertaken just a few months before the Assembly polls in the state and what the development projects funded by the Centre in the last eight years of the Narendra Modi government were.
According to an Intelligence Bureau report, the extremists hold complete control of the forested area of Abujhmad in Chhattisgarh where several camps provide arms training to recruits. In the absence of administration and basic infrastructure in the area, it has become an uphill task for the security forces to make inroads into the jungle as the rebels have put up landmines and explosives at all entry points.
An IB official said Abujhmad was a liberated zone and had become a Maoist hotbed. The insurgents hold regular meetings with their cadres in the presence of the top-rung leaders and plan and execute attacks on security forces from there.
The Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government currently governs Chhattisgarh.