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The Naxalites, Naxals or Naksalvadis are a Maoist communist group in India, leaders of the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency. The Naxal name comes from the village of Naxalbari in the Indian state of West Bengal where the movement originated. The Naxals are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In later years, it spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).[1] As of 2009, Naxalites were active across approximately 220 districts in twenty states of India[2] accounting for about 40 percent of India's geographical area,[3] They are especially concentrated in an area known as the "Red Corridor", where they control 92,000 square kilometers.[3] According to India's intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, 20,000 armed cadre Naxalites were operating in addition to 50,000 regular cadres[4] and their growing influence prompted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare them to be the most serious internal threat to India's national security.[5] The Naxalites are opposed by virtually all other Indian political groups.[6] In February 2009, the Indian Central government announced its plans for broad, co-ordinated operations in all affected states (Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal), to plug all possible escape routes of Naxalites.[7]
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