Terrorism Update
Show/Hide Search
    Click to Enlarge

People's Guerrilla Army, Left Wing Extremists

The military wing of the People’s War Group (PWG), the People’s Guerrilla Army (PGA) was reportedly founded on December 2, 2000 in Bihar and Jharkhand and a month later, on January 2, 2001, in Andhra Pradesh, somewhere in dense Dandakaranya forests in the North Telengana Region, by reorganising its guerrilla force. The formation of the PGA coincided with the first anniversary of three top-PWG leaders, including Central Committee members, killed in an encounter in the Koyyur forests, Karimnagar district, Andhra Pradesh. It is styled on the pattern of similar guerrilla forces in Turkey, the Philippines and Peru, the PWG said in a statement at the founding of the PGA.

The formation of the PGA was apparently in response to a government decision to launch coordinated action against the Naxalites by police forces of the various Indian States affected by Naxal violence. The PGA functions under a single operational command, the Central Military Commission. In the Indian State where the PGA has a presence, there is a State Military Commission and in special guerrilla zones there is a Zonal Military Commission. A Regional Military Commission supervises a group of State Military Commissions or Zonal Military Commissions. Each Regional Military Commission reports to the Central Military Commission. All armed cadre of the PWG are organised under the PGA.

The PWG announced that the PGA would consist of a main force, a secondary force and a people's militia. The PWG seeks to steer the PGA as a village militia and a regular army force to capture state power. Village militias are, indeed, in existence at some places. In the PGA, there are military platoons at the district or division level, sometimes a special guerrilla squad (SGS) in districts that do not have a military platoon, and local guerrilla squads (LGS) that have limited operational jurisdiction stretching across a cluster of villages. Further, there are also action teams and special action teams to undertake activities such as reconnaissance of a target, which could be a person or a location; killings; abductions; or damage and destruction of property. During meetings of cadres in large numbers, protection platoons are formed from amongst the existing men and women to provide cover and are subsequently disbanded. While cadres are not simultaneously represented in more than one arm, it is also likely that all the arms may not be present in all the districts.

Reportedly, the strength of a platoon varies between 25 and 30 at whose head are a commander and deputy commander. In turn, each platoon is divided into sections led by a section commander and a deputy section commander. The strength of a guerrilla squad varies between five and eight, while an action team consists of two to three cadres.





Copyright © 2001 SATP. All rights reserved.