Maoists from the outlawed Communist Party of India have defended killings of Congress leaders in the deadly Sukma incident. Blaming Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel for their role in Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt, the Maoists have cited the killings as a victory for their ideology.
In a statement mailed to select media channels, the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army spokesperson cited that these leaders were their prime enemies and by killing them, the maoists have taken revenge for numerous deaths that took place as a consequence of initiation of Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt that had been launched for finishing off the terror unleashed by the maoists.
However, the maoist have expressed regret over loss of other lives in the attack. They maintained that they only intended to kill these two leaders and any other loss of life was never their intention. However, these words are futile given the kind of mindset with which these maoists or naxalites operate.
It was in Dantewara only that maoists had gunned down 76 CRPF jawans about two years back. Nothing seems to change on ground and despite the government claiming that it is having the upper hand in the fight against maoists, increasing number of people get killed every year.
To add to the chaos, the maoists have been able to set up what is known as the liberated zone in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. They run parallel governments and claim to have support of the masses.
What started as a movement against repression of Government policies in Naxalbari village in West Bengal in 1960’s has slowly turned into an internal security problem and the government is in confusion mode on how to tackle the problem.
Confused voices have at times risen from those within the government of handing over the area to Indian Army for sorting out the problem. However, the Army itself has been reluctant on getting involved in the controversy as this would amount to taking guns against its own citizens. Moreover, the current problems of cross border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the conflict with China are of more relevance for the army.
This leaves the room open for the paramilitary forces and they have been trying their best to tackle the problem. However, operating in an alien territory where the villagers often themselves are friendly towards these maoists further compounds the problem.
The maoists have been demanding withdrawal of security forces and release of their jailed commanders as a precondition for any kind of negotiation. However, it has been seen in the past that whenever the government bends before the maoists, they use the opportunity to regroup and strengthen themselves.
The government is infact in a catch 22 situation and cannot act in haste. Taking on the maoists in their own land is proving tough for the central leadership and this exposes the limitations of Manmohan Singh to some extent.
The need of the hour is to act with a firm footing and let the maoists know that their writ cannot run wild in a country that is regarded as the World’s largest democracy.