“If Giridih Falls First, Gurgaon Will Fall Next”

During a recent trip to a Maoist base in Dandakaranya, Rahul Pandita had left a questionnaire for Maoist Supreme Commander Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathi, who had given him exclusive access last year for an interview (see ‘We Shall Certainly Defeat the Government’, 23 October 2009), his first ever. This time, Ganapathi has sent his replies in writing, covering a vast range of issues from Maoist leader Azad’s death and Rahul Gandhi’s role in Vedanta’s Niyamgiri project, to Maoist violence, their push into urban spaces, middle-class fears of their agenda, and chances of talks with the Centre. Excerpts:

Armed Indecision

Should the Army take on the Centre’s battle against Maoists? The Home and Defence ministries are at odds over the question. Here’s the state of the battle within.

Where the Gun Is a Limb

Ten days after the Dantewada ambush in which 76 CRPF jawans were killed, Open photographer Ishan Tankha travels to Chhattisgarh to meet the chief architect of the biggest Naxal attack so far. In the dense forests, he catches glimpses of the life of Maoist guerillas.

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