Says the Times:
India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have evolved into a potent and lethal insurgency. In the last four years, the Maoists have killed more than 900 Indian security officers, a figure almost as high as the more than 1,100 members of the coalition forces killed in Afghanistan during the same period.The rebels claim to represent many of India's impoerished people, especially among its indigenous tribal groups. Despite their violent tactics, they have some support among intellectuals in India, including the writer Arundhati Roy. They're not to be confused with the above-ground Communist Party, which is a force in Indian politics.
If the Maoists were once dismissed as a ragtag band of outdated ideologues, Indian leaders are now preparing to deploy nearly 70,000 paramilitary officers for a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign to hunt down the guerrillas in some of the country’s most rugged, isolated terrain.