The Naxalites have sent shivers down the spine of Home Minister P Chidambaram.In one of the deadliest attacks the Naxalites have killed 75 security personnel during a joint “Operation Green Hunt” in the thick forests of Mukrana in Dantewada district of Chattisgarh.The attack has come as huge embarrassment for the Congress government at Center,leaving both PM and the Home Minister in a state of shock.
The harsh truth is that Congress led UPA government has always been soft on the issue of tackling with the Maoist insurgency in the Indian states.A fact that Home Minister Chidambaram is not ashamed to accept. Sometimes back in Rajya Sabha he stated that :
” Regrettably, for many years, we did not assess the LWE challenge correctly. I think we underestimated the challenge.”
Last year the attacks by Naxalites were more than the attacks by terrorist violence in J&K and northeast.This had made Chidambaram to appoint a military advisor ” for advising security agencies on specialized training but is also expected to help out in operational procedures.”
However, the “arming and training of specialised forces” has not been too effective in the wake of “poor maintenance of police stations, lax training and low motivation”.There is also lack of better coordination on State and Center on this most dangerous issue that have come to hit the lives of people living in Andhra,Kerala, Uttar Pardesh.Bihar,Jharkahand, West Bengal and Chattisgarh.
I hope we all remember the statement of previous Home Minister Shivraj Patil .He said that militancy or extremism is a law and order problem. Instead of forming a concrete plan to sabotage the Maoists ,the UPA goovernment relied on rhetoric. It did come out with two fold programme -deployment of police forces and improvement of infrastructure in less developed States. It wanted to develop agriculture and generate employment as part of establishing a well-balanced social structure.The economic disparities, social injustice and infrastructural imbalances were cited as the main problem.It was the view of Rahul Gandhi as well. According to Rahul
” The government needs to take development to the people. Where ever you find development is taking place, where ever you find people involved in the political system, involved in the democratic system, Naxalism will not take over.”
However, I feel that government allowed the problem to take a threatening proportion.The Leftists in the previous regime prevented the Central government to act tough in this regard.A rigid stand with increase in the strength of Central and para-military forces would have not allowed Maoists to gain strength with each passing day. Even the dream of Unified command in this regard could not lessen the number of attacks by the Naxalites.As a result the government remain absorbed in rosy waves and means.It remained in a denial mode about the extent and reach of “red corridor”.
However, the attack that killed 75 security personnel has led to serious reaction from all quarters of government.The Prime Minister has termed it a “horrific” incident while the Home Minister Chidambaram was not hesitant to call it a ” brutality and savagery of the Maoists“. The Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai too termed Maoists “murderers“.In fact he admitted failure in the operations that led to huge loss of so many personnel including a Deputy Commandant and an Assistant Commandant and a Head Constable of state police force.
It remains to be seen how is the government going to intercept the new developments.The high casualty has made the Center consider over strict measures.However, the sad reality is that we have been unable to keep our security personnel above from the traps set by the Maoists.