New Delhi: Just days after the bodies of 40 Naxals were recovered by security forces in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, intelligence reports have pointed at discontent and factionalism within Naxal cadres, leading to a breakdown in the Naxal strategy in the area and rendering them vulnerable.

“There is now significant in-fighting within the Naxal cadres. Because of that, their strategies have become skewered, much to our benefit because we have been able to cash in on that and eliminate so many of them at one go in Gadchiroli," said an intelligence official, who did not wish to be identified.

The situation was similar to that in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district, according to senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officials.

While Sukma district in Chhattisgarh is a hotbed of Maoist activity, Abujmarh in Narayanpur district remains a largely untouched by security forces.

However, the CRPF has now started making inroads into this 3,900 square kilometres territory, which otherwise had just one camp on its periphery.

This, the CRPF confirmed, had come about after 62 Naxals surrendered in Narayanpur last week as a result of acute discontent among the cadres.

“Some of the cadres are not happy with the change in leadership. Outside leaders are being brought in and they are commanding the local cadres. In Odisha, a top cadre has surrendered claiming that they put in all the hard work and an outside leader comes and upsets their workings," said a senior CRPF officer from Chhattisgarh, on condition of anonymity.

In addition to this, officials added that rising instances of civilians being killed by the armed militia of the Naxals, had led to a drop in support from locals—a factor which security forces in the area hope would work in their favour.

“Over the last three months, 15 civilians have been killed by the Naxals because they brand the locals as ‘police informers’ and kill them. So local support is now beginning to dwindle. The Naxals have been stalling all development works, including by cutting off basic electricity to the villages. So anti-Naxal sentiments are on the rise among the villagers," the CRPF officer added.

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