Nikhil Kuruganti: The Centre’s laxity in fighting Maoists has emboldened other groups

The Centre’s laxity in fighting Maoists has emboldened other groups

India’s Maoist experience has turned into a very predictable and monotonous narrative. Except that one cannot predict the exact death toll and value of resources to be destroyed in the Naxalites’ next attack. They strike with impunity, kill security personnel and/or civilians, bomb police stations, high-tension towers and houses, destroy public infrastructure and return to the jungles, minus a few comrades at the most. Sunday’s attack on the Greyhounds motorboat in Orissa’s Malkangiri district, that resulted in the death of almost 40 people, was just another demonstration of how Naxalite operations have spread over almost a quarter of the country and how emboldened the rebels have become. Till the middle of June this year, over 320 people had already been killed in Maoist-related violence; and now joint operations have been targeted in their infancy. While the Maoists can sink boats carrying elite strike forces or raid jails to free hundreds of rebels, the police personnel of the affected districts are a pathetically demoralized lot, with neither the resources nor the will to end the crisis.

None of this surprises, however, since the home minister, Shivraj Patil, continues to be the UPA cabinet’s most distinguished non-performer. He has long blamed the Maoist insurgency on socio-economic problems. Then the Union government decided to rechristen it as a law and order issue — a state subject. Reducing the status of Naxalite violence to that of a mere law and order problem absolves the Centre of its responsibility and ensures that the State keeps surrendering ground to the rebels. The Naxalites don’t respect state boundaries and battling them calls for joint inter-state operations. This is where the Centre has to play the role of coordinator. And this is precisely where it has failed. The home minister should be a political leader-cum-administrator and a strong one at that. He doesn’t run the ministry of meekness. In fact, in its four years in power, the UPA has shown a total lack of political direction and will in handling the Maoists. One has to only remember the Centre’s intervention in Andhra Pradesh that allowed top Naxalites to go scot free. The result of such laxity has been an explosion of extra-constitutional tactics adopted by several groups fighting several causes — Gurjjars, Gorkhas, Dera Sacha Sauda, etc.

Thus it doesn’t surprise one to find the police forces demoralised. They certainly need state-of-the-art weapons, lodgings and vehicles to combat the Naxalites. But they also need a psychological boost from the home ministry. Dispatching Central forces and forming joint units for combing operations will not help otherwise. And since the Supreme Court has questioned the constitutionality of the Salwa Judum, the government must offer state forces which protect civilians and remain omnipresent in the troubled areas.

Taken From Indian Express

1 comment:

  1. Your comparing GUJJARS and GORKHAS with "DERA SACHA SAUDA" is very much condemned and regretted.

    Do not know , why you are matching CASTES with BELIEF.

    Do not want to write much since by your remark it appears that hurting feelings without first analying facts yourself; gives you pleasure.


Copyright © Nikhil Kuruganti Urang-kurai