Operation Green Hunt
|Operation Green Hunt|
|Part of Naxalite-Maoist insurgency|
|Government of India||Communist Party of India (Maoist)|
| • Paramilitary personnel (CRPF, BSF, ITBP, COBRA): 100,000
• State Armed Police Forces' personnel: 200,000
• Special Operation Group
|People's Liberation Guerrilla Army: 8,000 – 9,000 (September 2013)|
|Casualties and losses|
|285 killed (2010)
142 killed (2011)
94 killed (2012)
82 killed (till 15 September 2013)
|172 killed (2010)
99 killed (2011)
Operation Green Hunt was the name used by the Indian media to describe the "all-out offensive" by Government of India's paramilitary forces and the state's forces against the Naxalites. The operation is believed to have begun in November 2009 along five states in the "Red Corridor."
The term was coined by the Chhattisgarh police officials to describe one successful drive against the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the state. It was erroneously used by the media to describe the wider anti-Naxalite operations; the Government of India does not use the term "Operation Green Hunt" to describe its anti-Naxalite offensive.
Planning and implementation
In October 2009, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) announced that it was in the final stages of planning the offensive and had received approval from the Union-led government. The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) would take the lead in the operations against Maoist insurgents. But in September 2009, the media had already reported a "massive 3 day joint operation" by the CoBRA and Chhattisgarh police against the Maoists in Dantewada.
At the beginning of November 2009, the first phase of the operation began in Gadchiroli district. As many as 18 companies of the central paramilitary forces were moved into the area in anticipation of the operation.
In April 2010, Mark Sofer had a conversation with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and M. K. Narayanan on the subject of the "Maoist extremism" and West Bengal's internal security, and offered assistance by Israel in the state's battle against the Maoists.
Initially in 2009, the Government of India had decided to move 80,000 central paramilitary personnel to wage offensive against the Maoists, strengthened by a fleet of 10 armed helicopters from the Indian Air Force. According to the Daily Mail, by mid 2012, about 100,000 paramilitary personnel were deployed by the Indian government in its anti-Maoist operations from the CRPF, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and COBRA. By May 2013, about 84,000 personnel from the CRPF had been stationed in the Red corridor to beef up the offensive.
To further boost the Government's offensive, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is looking forward to "clone" new commando units on the likes of Andhra Pradesh's Greyhounds and induce them in the ongoing anti-Maoist operations in five other states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra and Odisha. The Times of India states that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to induce 10,000 more paramilitary personal to move "towards a fight to finish war against Maoists in Red Zone."
Apart from the paramilitary personnel, the non-paramilitary armed forces' personnel deployed in operations against the Maoists are estimated to number around 200,000.
The Indian Army has also been stationed in the Red corridor, however, the Army claims that it is present there to train the paramilitary personnel to fight against the Maoists and denies its direct role in the offensive operations.
As a response to the offensive, the insurgents launched several high-profile attacks on the Indian security forces:
- On February 15, 2010 at least 25 policemen died after Maoists overran a security camp in West Bengal state. Naxalite-Maoist leader Kishenji claimed responsibility for the attack. He was quoted as saying that, "We have attacked the camp and this is our answer to P. Chidambaram's [the Indian Minister of Internal Affairs] 'Operation Green Hunt' and unless the Centre stops this inhuman military operation we are going to answer this way only."
- On April 6, 2010, Maoist rebels killed 75 policemen/CRPF men in a jungle ambush in central India, the most security forces ever killed by the insurgents in a single conflict. On the same day, Gopal, a top Maoist leader, said the attack was a "direct consequence" of the government's Operation Green Hunt offensive. This raised some voices of use of Indian Air Force against Naxalites, which were however declined citing "We can't use oppressive force against our own people".
- On June 29, 2010, At least 26 policemen have been killed in a Maoist attack in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
- Sharma, Aman (15 July 2012). "New crack Greyhound commando forces to be deployed in five more Maoist-affected states". Daily Mail (Daily Mail and General Trust). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Krishna Das, R.; Makkar, Sahil; Basak, Probal; Satapathy, Dillip (27 September 2013). "Reds in retreat". Business Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "Operation Greenhunt starts in Orissa". The Indian Express. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Maoists rebels kill 26 policemen in central India". BBC NEWS. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Sethi, Aman (6 February 2013). "Green Hunt: the anatomy of an operation". the Hindu. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "India launches attack against Maoists". RT. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- "There is no 'Operation Green Hunt': Chidambaram". The Times of India. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
- "'Centre's Anti-Naxal Plan to be Implemented Soon'", Outlook (Mumbai: M/s Outlook Publishing (India) Private Limited), 2009-10-09, retrieved 2010-03-11
- Ali, Mazhar (2009-11-02). "First phase of Operation Green Hunt begins". The Times of India (Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd). Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- "Israel to help West Bengal tackle Maoists". Rediff. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "10 IAF choppers for rebel combat". The Telegraph (New Delhi: ABP Group). 29 December 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "'CRPF will launch fresh operations against Naxals in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand'". Indo-Asian News Service (New Delhi: The New Indian Express). 30 May 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- Mohan, Vishwa (8 May 2013). "Government to deploy 10,000 more personnel in four states to fight Maoists". The Times of India (New Delhi: The Times Group). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Thottam, Jyoti (27 June 2011). "Indian Army Raises the Stakes in Its War Against the Maoists". Time (magazine). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Banerjee, Monideepa (February 16, 2010). "Naxals massacre cops, furious Centre wants answers". NDTV (New Dehli). Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- "India Maoists kill 26 policemen". BBC News. 2010-06-29.
- Chidambaram says no, but troops believe ‘Green Hunt' exists, The Hindu
- “Deep Intelligence” in Bastar: Mapping The Maoists From The Skies
- India For Selective Assassination Of It's Own Citizens?
- Security forces launch "Operation Abujhmad" in Chhattisgarh
- Staring at Defeat – Even the security forces know that every starving Indian is a potential Maoist insurgent, OPEN