Coordinate strongly to counter the menace
On May 25, when the whole world was celebrating Buddha Purnima, birthday of Gautam Buddha, the Compassionate One, Maoists ambushed a Congress convoy in Bastar region’s Darbha forest and killed senior Congress leaders Nand Kumar Patel, Mahendra Karma and many others.
This audacious Naxal attack, this time on politicians, must ring deafening alarm bells for central and state governments and the security forces. It has been reported that the Naxals used AK-47 and INSAS rifles in this deadly attack. The paramilitary personnel deployed in Chhattisgarh, mainly for anti-Maoist operations number more than 30,000. Then there is the state police and the intelligence establishment. The MHA and the state government should hang their heads in shame for this worst-ever attack on the political class by Maoists.
Is there anyone who would take the responsibility of the frightening escalation of the Naxal movement and who has stopped the governments at the centre and states to take the following necessary actions to counter and control this Naxal menace which has spread in more than 230 districts in the country. 35 districts are gravely affected and warrant immediate attention.
— Total failure of the intelligence
— Lack of coordination between the central police forces and state police
— Inadequate provision of sophisticated weapons for the security forces
— Improper training of security forces
— Lack of motivation and high spirits in the security forces
— Timely decisions
I don’t understand what the Centre and State governments are waiting for? How this menace could spread so fast in the past three years? The number of innocent people and our security personnel who have been killed in the past three years is much higher than the Naxalites who have been killed in the past thirty years. Is it still not alarming for the governments? This is the first time that some political leaders have been killed but this may not be the last such attempt if the central and state governments do not take necessary strict action immediately and for an effective and successful campaign they need to focus on the above six vital points without further delay.
Its not the time to play dirty blame game of politics. It is the responsibility of all the political parties whether in power or in opposition to take all the measures collectively so that a message goes out that the whole nation is against this Naxal menace. It’s time for a strong coordination among all the political parties to develop a consensus to counter and control this immediately.
Other very important aspect to assess is that are our forces working with a very weak system of intelligence and these Naxalites are operating in such a well developed network in the jungles that they are aware about the movements of certain senior leaders and they could do exactly what they wanted but unfortunately our forces are working with no intelligence and they could not locate the movement of hundreds of Naxalites in the area and innocent people were killed brutally. These hundreds of Naxalites might have taken few hours to reach at the place of attack and they were well aware of who are moving in the convoy and they killed selectively. This is so shameful for all the state police officers responsible for gathering the intelligence and they should be sacked for failing in their duty.
More important is the role of the security forces to combat this menace. Our premier security force responsible for the entire internal security is Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Without its active involvement this problem cannot be contained. The worst part is that some of the state police forces don’t extend their required support to the CRPF like gathering the strong intelligence and share the same with the CRPF personnel, which is affecting the operations. The CRPF has done a commendable job and has sacrificed the most in the Naxal operations. This is something which has to be taken on a serious note now that the state police forces train their people as per the requirement and share the maximum information at an urgent basis with CRPF so they may control the situation in the affected areas. The central government should have a very clear road map for the coordination between the state police, CRPF and other agencies responsible for the Naxal operations. We have seen that the major attacks recently could happen because of the lack of proper information sharing and inadequate intelligence.
If these measures are not taken then we might see more such attacks and the situation will spiral out of control.
(The writer is Chief Executive Officer of leading defence magazine Defence and Security Alert. He can be contacted at [email protected])