In this paper, I argue that the Maoist insurgency against the Indian State in the “Red Corridor”, spanning a quarter of the Independent Indian State’s territory, including areas in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra, constitutes a Non-International Armed Conflict (NIAC) under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). I analyse the development of International law on the question of non-international armed conflicts from Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, to the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, and the recent ICTY and ICTR jurisprudence. This paper asserts that the two main elements required to constitute an NIAC, namely, sufficient organisation of the non-state actor and protracted, intense violence between the non-state actor and the State are fulfilled in the case of the Maoist insurgency by relying upon State Reports, documents released by the Maoists and anthropological/ journalistic accounts of the conflict. Therefore, the Naxals are legal contestants of the Indian State in the Red Corridor, instead of being a mere ‘internal security challenge’.
"Biggest Internal Security Threat or Non-International Armed Conflict?,"
Socio-Legal Review: Vol. 14:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://repository.nls.ac.in/slr/vol14/iss2/4