Equipped with automatic weapons, shoulder rocket launchers, mines and explosives, the Maoists last year carried out at least 1,000 attacks, but most of these were in remote jungles and villages. The Naxalites also control some of India's mineral-rich areas and operate in large sweeps of the eastern, central and southern countryside.
At the time of writing the Indian army and its special forces are camped in west Bengal reviewing tactics and drawing up new assault plans. The effectiveness of the military option to uproot the Naxalites and address the cause of their grievances is questionable of course, but neither can real development take hold if government officials have no access to Maoist areas of control. Meanwhile, yet another 'quiet' conflict simmers in India. Dialogue anyone?