February 11, 2009:
The Indian National Human Rights Commission sued the state government of Chhattisgarh before the Supreme Court of India, to get the local self-defense (against Maoist rebels) militias disarmed. The Supreme Court recently agreed, and ordered the village militias disarmed, and advised Chhattisgarh to spend more money on creating jobs and solving social problems. This, the justices advised, was a more humane way to eventually eliminate the Maoist terrorism against unarmed villagers who would not support the communist rebellion.
What's amazing is that communist rebels and terrorists are still active, 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and seeming defeat of the communist movement. But there is still an energetic communist terrorist operation going on in Indian state of Chhattisgarh. These terrorists belong to the Maoist movement, an organization trying to establish communist dictatorships similar to radical communist movement of the 1960s, when Chinese ruler Mao Zse Dong sought to "purify" the country. The Cambodian Khmer Rouge were the first copy-cat Maoists, and they killed over a million of their countrymen in the 1970s.
Leftist parties are strong in India, particularly at the state level. There are two Communist Parties, and two other leftist parties that comprise the "Left Front". They control about six percent of the seats in parliament, and even more at the state level. These leftists have long prevented the government from going after the Maoist rebels in a big way. That has changed in the past few years, as the Maoists became more violent. Last year, in Chhattisgarh state alone, Maoists killed 241 people, while losing nearly 700 of their own members (82 killed, the rest arrested.)
The National Human Rights Commission has been after the state police to observe the law when going after the Maoists. There have been cases of suspected Maoists simply being killed, or jailed without hard evidence of their participation in terrorist activities. The Maoists use terror against civilians who refuse to support them, and anyone they consider "enemies of the people" (the rich, most business owners and especially the village militias that prevent the Maoists from extorting "revolutionary taxes.")
Officials from Chhattisgarh responded to the Supreme Court ruling by saying that the village militias, at least those armed and controlled by the state government, no longer existed.