Azad, one of the top leaders of the CPI-Maoist party leading the insurgency in India, was just killed in Andra Pradesh by the government. The state said that they killed him in a shootout, but as in so many cases, they simply murdered him. They arrested him several days ago, then took him out in the forest handcuffed and blindfolded, then shot him.
This is how they murder many Maoists who they capture. Like Colombia, El Salvador or Guatemala during their civil wars, the Indians don’t take a lot of POW’s in their insurgencies. If you’re going to be captured by the state in these conflicts, you may as well kill yourself or go down fighting. Arrest means death in most cases.
Another top leader, Chandranna, was also captured in Andra Pradesh.
It’s a blow to the rebels, but they should handle it ok. They have a chain of command, and there are folks waiting to step in in case any top official is captured or killed.
The group has not made its leaders into folk heros as the Peruvian Sendero Luminoso did with their leader, Abimael Guzman. In the case of Sendero, the capture of Guzman at the peak of the group’s power led to the collapse of the group. But it should not end any well-organized insurgency.
In the Algerian Civil War, the French kept capturing and killing “the top leadership” of the insurgents so many times that it got ridiculous. The Algerians just replace them with other folks, and the war went on.