People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (India)

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The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) is the armed wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a banned organisation in India[1] which aims to overthrow the government of India through people's war.[2]


The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army was founded on 2 December 2000[3] and known as the People's Guerrilla Army (PGA) by the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) People's War, also known as the People's War Group.[4] The PLGA was founded on the first death anniversary of their three Central Committee members, who were killed in an encounter in Koyyuru.[5] In 2004, when the People's War Group merged with the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist), their respective armed wings also merged.[6] Therefore, the People's Guerrilla Army (the military wing of the People's War Group) and the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (the military wing of MCCI) combined to form the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army.[7]


The PLGA is controlled by the Central Military Commission of the CPI (Maoist).[8] The analyses in September 2013, based on Maoists' intercepted communication, suggested that the estimated number of PLGA members had decreased (from 10,000 − 12,000)[9] to 8,000 − 9,000.[10] Recently in March 2014, Gautam Navlakha has claimed that the PLGA's strength did not decrease but has increased, however, the guerrilla zone has been geographically reduced. He writes that "the number of companies and platoons of PLGA increased from 8 companies and 13 platoons in 2008 to 12 companies and more than 25 platoons, plus a supply platoon in 2013."[11] All the PLGA members are volunteers and they do not receive any wages.[12] The count of Jan (People's) Militia is around 38,000 which is mostly composed of the tribal people who uses bows and arrows as their weapons and allegedly provide logistical support to the PLGA.[13] During her visitation to the Maoist's guerrilla zones few years back, Arundhati Roy noted that the PLGA was 45% female,[12] but the recent analyses suggests that now the female comrades compose 60% of the PLGA.[9] Now, the women commanders heads 20 of the 27 divisions in the Red corridor.[11] It has a military intelligence wing, Central Instruction Team and the Central Action Team.[8] Maoists manufactures 80% of their arms and looted others from the security forces.[14] Kishenji was one of the commanders-in-chief of the PLGA who oversaw several attacks.[15]

Notable attacks[edit]

On 6 April 2010, an attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in their camp in Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh killed 76 CRPF personnel. This is considered to be the worst attack by the armed wing of the Maoist.[16] On 25 May 2013, the PLGA targeted the convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh; twenty-seven people died, including Mahendra Karma, the founder of Salwa Judum. Karma had been the main target.[17][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Centre bans CPI (Maoist)". The Hindu. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Maoists will overthrow govt much before 2050 : Kishenji". The Times of India. 6 March 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "CPI (Maoist) marks PLGA anniversary with mass contact programmes". The Times of India. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "People's Guerrilla Army, Left Wing Extremists". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Formation of PLGA a turning point in the Maoist movement". The Hindu. 5 December 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "PW, MCCI merge to form CPI (Maoist)". Business Line. 15 October 2004. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Dantawade a pointer to Maoist guerrilla warfare". The New Indian Express. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Ushinor Majumdar (19 September 2013), Top Maoist Leader Ganapathi Admits To Leadership Crisis In Party, Tehelka, retrieved 15 October 2013 
  10. ^ Krishna Das, R.; Makkar, Sahil; Basak, Probal; Satapathy, Dillip (27 September 2013). "Reds in retreat". Business Standard. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Navlakha, Gautam (30 March 2014). "Ambush amplifies a struggle". Sanhati. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Roy, Arundhati (29 March 2010). "Walking with the Comrades". Outlook. Retrieved 15 October 2013. It is an entirely voluntary army. Nobody is paid a salary. 
  13. ^ Kumar, Kamal (24 August 2013). "Analysis: India's Maoist challenge". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "‘LTTE training, police ammo strengthened Reds’". Times of India. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Flood, Derek Henry (2010). "Kishenji:A Profile of the Leader of the Indian Maoist Insurgency" (PDF). Militant Leadership Monitor (The Jamestown Foundation) 1 (4): 8–11. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Maoists kill 76 securitymen in Dantewada". Hindustan Times. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Chhattisgarh attack: In 4-page note, Maoists state why they targeted Congress leaders". NDTV. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "We punished Karma for launching Salwa Judum: Maoists". India Today. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.