The Home Ministry reports reveal that India has the largest number of domestic terror groups in the world. The report was in the context of the centre banning the Maoist terror group, CPI (Maoist) as a reaction to the Maoist insurgency at Lalgarh in West Bengal. There, the CPI(M), which so far acted as a democratic arm of the terrorist barbarians, is on the receiving end. So the Marxists are speaking with a forked tongue. Not only that the CPI(Maoist) is the ideological cousin of the CPI(M), but the latter has defended, justified and in many ways facilitated the Maoist mayhem and mind-boggling barbarity from Nepal to Chhattisgarh. The Marxists have on many occasions defended Maoist killings of brave policemen and innocent Vanvasi people and stubbornly opposed any decisive action against them. That is why in the present instance too, the central leadership of the CPI (M) and its West Bengal Chief Minister are talking differently.
In last week’s editorial, we advocated a strong military-like operation against these terrorists as they pose a grave threat to national integrity and sovereignty. These extortionist thugs believe that by exploiting tribal discontent, and pretending to create a so-called liberated zone, they could hope to eventually expand and overthrow the Indian State. In this they try to tie-up with all secessionist and disruptive anti-India outfits to widen their area of influence. This is a pipe dream, given the democratic base of the Indian State. A determined paramilitary assault can certainly hammer the Maoist brutes out of shape.
It is indeed a welcome development that the centre has at last identified the Maoists as a subversive, foreign-funded extortionist outfit and imposed a ban on it.
Thus the number of indigenous terror groups operating on our soil is 27, making India home to the largest number of domestic terrorist organisations in the world. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) named the CPI(Maoist) as 34th terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act; seven of these are transnational terror groups. CPI(Maoist) joined ranks with ULFA and SIMI and lesser-known entities such as Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council of Meghalaya, Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup of Manipur and Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj.
Of the seven transnational terror groups, only two—al-Qaeda and LTTE—are truly global names. The other five are Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Badr, Jamaatul Mujahid and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), which are all Pakistan-based terror outfits fighting Indian security forces in Kashmir. Prakash Singh, former Director General of Border Security Force (BSF), says, “Since Independence we have seen the rise of a new terrorist movement in every decade, whether it be the Naxals, militants in Punjab, terrorists in the North-East or in J&K. It is the failure of governance that has led to this situation.”
The Maoists have of late intensified their killings in Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. It is the neglect of the interior areas of rural Bengal that led to the grotesque situation there. The failed governance of the CPI(M) in the last three decades is exposed before the world. But it is unwilling to clearly distance itself from the Maoists and declare them enemies of the nation. It is this opportunism that has led to a situation where the Maoists are enjoying the political patronage of the Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M) in equal measure at the same time. It is to be seen how far the centre will pursue its fight to liberate the vast swathes of tribal belt spread over five states from the terror outfit. Will Mamata Banerjee who is beholden to the Maoists for supporting her in the recent election allow the centre to launch a nation-wide assault on these ultras? Nothing less than a decisive assault on the Maoists on a wider scale will yield the desired outcome.