Saturday, July 19, 2008

Roots of the Problem

During last one month the Maoists have killed nearly 60 security personnel belonging to the Greyhound force, constituted specially to counter Naxalite actions in various states. They trapped a boat carrying 40 jawans of the Greyhound who were on their mission to Orissa from Andhra Pradesh and killed them. A few days ago they killed 20 jawans in Orissa’s Malkangiri district in a mine blast. Even the Mine Protected Vehicle in which the cops were moving failed to protect them. Significantly this vehicle costing Rs 55 lakh was developed to suit the needs of paramilitary forces operating in Naxalite areas. Unfortunately this vehicle could not withstand the Naxalite attack. In fact the attack did not come suddenly. The general secretary of the CPI (Maoist), Mr M Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy had warned that they would intensify their actions against the state machinery, as destruction of the enemy forces was on their immediate agenda. In fact the Maoist targeting the enemy is not confined to Orissa or Andhra Pradesh, but it is happening also in Kiul in the eastern parts of Bihar. They have been blowing rail tracks and killing security forces and also innocent people. Though the government has been promising to take on the Naxalites so far it has not resulted in any significant reduction, except for deployment of some well-trained police personnel. Significantly on the eve of the meeting of chief ministers of Naxalite-affected states in Hyderabad last September, the Prime Minister had suggested to the states to evolve a concrete socio-economic action programme to counter the Naxalite challenge. But so far the central government or the concerned states have not chalked out any such programme and instead continue to follow the old path of meeting force with force. Look at the modus operandi of the Naxalites. They have selected the backward areas of eastern and central India and indoctrinated poor people. The resurgence of Naxalism in these areas owes to the callous administration of the state governments in these regions. The government ought to realize that it cannot counter Naxalites with force. It must reach out to the poor of the regions and give them real empowerment. It must realize that India is home not only to middle classes, but also to 70 per cent of people who are poor

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