Saturday, April 17, 2010

Naxal problem is more serious than terrorism

Category » Your Voice Posted On Friday, April 16, 2010

The killing of 75 CRPF personnel and a local policeman in a Naxalite ambush in Dantewada clearly indicates that the Operation Green Hunt launched to flush out the Naxalites was not properly evaluated, planned, and carried out. The Army Chief recently said that the men were not fully trained to operate in jungle area. In any case it is doubtful that they were familiar with the area. It is not clear what was the aim of the movement of so many soldiers together and their returning following the same path. Who provided the intelligence to them, if any? These issues were recently discussed in a meeting of retired senior officers. The discussion was initiated by RJ Khurana.

The governments for the last over 60 years have created many para-military forces but by and large ignored the need for increasing the number, capability, training, weapons and proper usage of the police force in the police stations. They are the one that are closest to the criminals. Even if the outside forces are required and sent, they have to get the input from these local policemen.

Today, it seems there is more threat from Naxalites than from terrorists. You can get intelligence and engage the terrorists but the Naxalites not only ensure that they get all the information but they ensure through the element of fear that the forces get no such inputs. The terrorists may get some help from sleepers but not from general public. They can be, in many cases, identified. But here there is no difference between an ordinary resident and a Naxal.

Most of the weapons of the Naxals are from looting the police armoury or through clandestine means from across the border. As per the figures given out by the Home department, over 200 districts are Naxal affected and some 90 of them have no government administrative presence in large areas. Unless these districts are liberated no long-term initiative can be taken to bring the residents in the mainstream. Then the main task would be to ensure that the administration does not once again misgovern through corrupt practices, inefficiency, delays in attending to their problems, not initiating urgently needed developments and violating their freedom. These were the very causes of the development of Naxalism.
Gp Capt AB Mehta(Retd), Bhopal

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