The only state in India where Naxalites still have a sizable presence and the capability to launch significant assaults is Chhattisgarh. In Chhattisgarh alone, there were 37 Maoist assaults from January through February, which resulted in 17 fatalities, including seven security officers.
In the previous five years, between 2018 and 2022, more than a third of all Naxal-related violence in the nation occurred in Chhattisgarh, according to a government study presented in parliament. Between 70 and 90 percent of those killed were civilians, military personnel, and Maoists.
According to the study, there were 275 assaults by Maoists in the state in 2018, 182 in 2019, 241 in 2020, 188 in 2021, and 246 in 2022. In the assault on Wednesday, Maoists detonated an IED inside a vehicle transporting members of the area Reserve Guard (DRG) in the Dantewada area. The tragedy happened as the jawans were engaged in operations nearby in Aranpur. The bomb claimed the lives of a driver, at least 10 DRG troops, and others.
DISTRICT RESERVE GUARD: WHAT IS IT?
The District Reserve Guard, often known as the DRG, was established in 2008 to fight Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bastar area. It was grown in seven districts in Bastar, which together total about 40,000 square kilometers.
In 2008, it started operating in the districts of Kanker (north Bastar) and Narayanpur (which includes Abhujmad). The force (CAF) was also raised in the districts of Bijapur and Bastar in 2013 after five years. Soon after, in 2014 and 2015, it was extended to the districts of Sukma and Kondagaon, and in 2016.
It is a specialized division of the Chhattisgarh Police where local villagers or tribal people are hired and taught. They distinguish themselves from other Bastar-based security personnel by tracking insurgents and preparing for security and search operations. It is hard to tell whether they are locals or security guards since they are indigenous dressed in plainclothes.