BBC Bangla series gains exclusive access to India's Maoist hideouts

The rise of ultra-left communist movement in India is the subject of new weekly documentary series on BBC Bangla.

From Thursday 4 November, the eight-part series, In The Maoist Heartland Of India, focuses on how the movement has gathered strength over the past 30 years, and explores various aspects of this conflict.

The rise of this communist movement in central India has involved large-scale violence; India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, has described it as the country’s “biggest national security threat”. Grouped under the Communist Party of India (Maoist) banner, the movement has called for the establishment of a communist state in India through armed revolution, and has waged a full-scale military operation against the state of India. The operation has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 men, women and children.

In The Maoist Heartland Of India is based on 60 hours of audio recordings and video footage, created by BBC Bangla service’s India Correspondent, Suvojit Bagchi, who was given exclusive access to the hideouts of the Maoist guerrillas. For 34 days, he interacted closely with the members of the political and military wings of the Maoist Party, as well as villagers – including victims of repressive measures undertaken by the state.

Producer and presenter of the series, Suvojit, says: “The 60,000 sq km swathe of forestland spread across central Indian province of Chattisgarh is almost entirely controlled by armed Maoists, with weaponry ranging from assault rifles and two-inch mortars through to old muzzle-loader guns. Some analysts call the situation there a “low-intensity conflict”, but however you describe it, dealing with the problem is going to be tough for India.”

The radio series will be broadcast every Thursday from 4 November in the news and current-affairs programme, Prattyusha, at 07.30 Bangladesh Time, 07.00 Indian Time (01.30 GMT), and will be repeated every Friday from 5 November in the evening programme, Probaho, at 19.30 Bangladesh Time, 19.00 Indian Time (13.30 GMT).

The BBC Bangla website will feature the multimedia content from the series, including unique video footage. Versions of the series will run on the BBC’s other international news services, including BBC Hindi, BBC World Service in English and BBC World News television.

BBC Bangla radio is available in Bangladesh on BBC 100 FM in Dhaka, 101.2 FM in Comilla, 102 FM in Khulna, 105.4 FM in Chittagong, 105 FM in Rajashahi, 105.4 FM in Rangpur and 105 FM in Sylhet. Bangla-speaking online audiences can get BBC news via the multimedia website.

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