It’s a decennia old conflict that’s growing in size and seen by the Indian government as one of the biggest security threats of the country at current.
Hidden in the jungles of the Dandakaranya region, controlling villages and cities, the Indian Maoist militants, known as Naxalites, claim to defend the rights of the poor, the displaced and the landless peasants. One of their key demands is land redistribution.
In support of India’s economical growth, the “India Shining”, the big coal, iron and cement industries and the building of thermal power plants changed the landscape of large regions of the country – destroying forests, jungles and the countryside – leaving many inhabitants expropriated and displaced.
Stanley traveled to the region that concentrates some of the biggest mining variety of the country and where the Maoist opposition to the government and the industries is the fiercest.
There’s militarization on both sides. The government started operation “Green Hunt” three years ago and the Indian Army is training policemen, as well as certain tribes, to “fight the guerilla like a guerilla”.
Stanley documented the effect of the industrialization in the Chhattisgarh state, the IDP’s, the villagers that are the victims of the conflict, tribal people protesting the government and supporting the Maoists, activists, the Para-military, the military “anti-Maoist”-training camps and civilians trained by the military police to fight the Naxalites.