On 8 September 2006, the Andhra Pradesh Police recovered 600 unloaded rockets, 275 unassembled rockets, 27 rocket launchers, 70 gelatine sticks and other explosives belonging to the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from the Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts. This largest ever arm haul included two tonnes of spares to make 16 rocket launchers, high tensile springs used to propel explosives, fins that could be attached to shells, 500 live .303 rounds, detonators, wire, an electronic weighing scale and two digital thermometers. The ammunition was shipped from Chennai in May 2006 and reached Vijayawada and Proddatur, where it was re-directed to Achampet and Giddalur.
Since its inception in 2004, the CPI (Maoist) has been working on a terror strategy and has emerged as the most sophisticated armed group in India. As revealed in naxal literature, the CPI (Maoist) now has around 10,000 cadres who are adept in guerilla warfare, with another 45,000 over ground cadres. Over the years it has built up an arsenal of 20,000 modern weapons, which includes INSAS, AK-series rifles and SLRs, mostly looted from security forces. Use of fabricated rocket launchers has added to their fire power. Though the Naxals have not yet gained access to RDX, they have frequently used Gelatine sticks and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
In addition, the Naxals have a huge number of country-made weapons which they procure through a chain of underground arms production units. There are over 1,500 illegal arms manufacturing units in Bihar alone, mostly located in the Nalanda, Nawada, Gaya and Munger districts. Recently, Gorakhpur and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh have emerged as Maoist centres for production and distribution of illegal arms. Naxals also have an undetermined number of arms manufacturing units in the dense forests of Sarnda (Jharkhand), Redhakhol (Orissa) and Dandakaranya (Chhatisgarh). A recent study conducted jointly by the Oxfam, Amnesty International and the International Network on small arms, estimated that 40 million guns out of the estimated 75 million illegal small arms worldwide are in Central India with the Naxals active in Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The report reveals that along with the mafias, the Naxals have become buyers of assault weapons like Kalashnikovs and M-16s.
The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of the CPI (Maoist) has developed into an efficient guerrilla force trained on the lines of a professional armed force. The CPI (Maoists) have an elaborate command structure; at the apex is their Central Military Commission followed by five regional bureaus. Under each regional bureau there is a Zonal Military Commission, which is responsible for executing armed operations. The people's militia is at the bottom of this structure. Naxals are now run at least 80 training camps all over India and each camp has the infrastructure to train 300 cadres at one time. Naxals, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, have been using wireless scanners, which can tap into the frequency of police communications. The big question is: who is providing such high-tech equipment and training to the Naxals? Though government are hesitant to provide information, it is speculated that the ULFA and some retired Indian Army officials are involved in training the Naxals. For long, ULFA has been a major source for supplying automatic weapons to Maoist cadres.
The recent operations of the Naxalites leave no space for ideological commitment. Indiscriminate violence in the name of revolution cannot be countenanced. The Naxals have repeatedly stated that "armed struggle" is non-negotiable. This position does not make sense. "Armed struggle" may be the means to the end, but it cannot be an end in itself. The Naxal brand of politics may highlight the evils of the Indian socio-political framework, but it will not able to eradicate these evils. On the other hand, the state cannot escape the blame for inflicting more violence and suffering upon its civilian population through counter violence.
In recent years, many high level meetings have been held to finalize a strategy to deal with the red terror. A number of decisions were taken in these meetings but the ground realities have not improved, rather they have worsened. In most Naxalite affected states there is absolutely no coordination among the police and administration. The frequent Coordination Committee Meetings convened by the Union Government may provide a broad understanding of the problem, but greater coordination is needed between the police and civil administration at the ground level for effective implementation of government decisions taken at the highest level.