Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Red menace

In the biggest ever Naxalite related violence in the history of Chhattisgarh more than 60 security personnel were killed when a large group of heavily armed Maoists attacked a security camp at Rani Vodli in Bijapur police district of Bastar, bordering Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Though the state has witnessed many such attacks in the past, the present one brought the heaviest causalities.

The Naxalites, who were lying low for the past few months, have once again proved the government wrong, as the Raman Singh led BJP government, all this while was claiming that the naxalites were forced to retreat due to the tight security arrangements and the popular success of the anti-Maoist-Salva Judum campaign. Apparently the retreat was more of a tactical step taken so as to give shape to the present carefully planned, dare-devilish attack.

The state government as well as the central government, which have been working jointly in the fight against the naxal threat, have again been found wanting as the recent attack proved. The highly publicized Salva-Judum campaign, which was launched by the state government to curb the naxal spread, has also proved to be a damp squib with human rights organization and media slamming the movement as a forced measure rather then a voluntary action by the villagers and tribals of the naxal affected areas.

Reports from Bijapur suggest the death of 65 security personnel and injuries to 16. The Maoists have killed about 700 people in the last two years in Bastar, but the Thursday pre-dawn attack on the security camp was the worst of all the crimes committed by the Naxalites as they raided the barracks, indiscriminately killed the sleeping security people, looted their arms and landmined the whole area before “retreating” back to the dense forests.

In the past too, they had killed 26 CRPF jawans in the same area. They had also killed 58 pro-Salva Judum volunteers returning from a Anti-Maoist rally, hacked a local pro-salva judum congress leader to death, blasted a railway station and invaded several relief camps killing the peace movement activists and their families which had forced the government to shift over 50000 people in the relief camps in their own homeland, which according to reports has been the largest exodus of people since independence.

The Rani Vodli incident had come within a week of the killing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha member of Lok Sabha,Sunil Mahto near Chaibasa in Jharkhand, which was also the handiwork of the naxals. Earlier way back in 2000 the Maoists had killed the then transport minister of Madhya Pradesh, Likhiram Kanware, similarly they had attacked the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh,Chandrababu Naidu in Tirupathi and later in 2006 stormed the Jehanabad jail in Bihar.

The series of attacks in Bijapur’s Farsegarh and Kotru blocks is definitely the result of lack of development activities in the remote areas even now. Corruption is rampant in the villages, the officials are finding it difficult to enter the villages and the contractors have literally surrendered themselves to the will of the Maoists.

The BJP led government had enacted the Chhattisgarh special Public security Act last year making strong provisions for detention of even those supporting the Maoists, banning the publicizing of Maoist related activities and or glorification of violent actions through audio or video presentations or photographs. The government had also made a special provision of Rs. five crores for the anti-Maoists campaign –Salva Judum in the annual budget last year. But sadly despite these measures there has been little or no headway in the states’s fight against the naxals.

The anti-naxal movement is meeting up with resistance from the Maoists frequently and the Rani Vodli attack is yet another incident in these series. The ritual of the chief minister calling upon the union home minister, demanding more forces and helicopters was repeated this time too.The approach of both the Centre and state governments on the increasing Maoists violence is very ‘weak’ so to say.

The Naxalites are working on the idea to create a corridor from Pashupathi Nath to Tirupathi (Nepal to Andhra Pradesh). The recent development in Nepal where the maoist are already sharing power in Kathmandu points towards the much larger objective that they are following which is also evident from their literatures.

When Maoists were digging up wells, constructing tanks and opening primary schools in Bastar, the state administration’s teachers, engineers were staying in the district headquarters. As a result of which the Maoist have gained support in most deep areas of Chhattisgarh

During Raman Singh’s weeklong tour to the villagers by helicopter, he was told about the non-availability of teachers, doctors and engineers in the blocks. The engineers of Wadrafnagar, a sub-divisional town in Surguja, prefer to operate from Ambikapur, the district headquarters,80 kms away from their posting giving enough space for the Maoists and their sympathizers , this perhaps sums the whole problem with the naxal infested state.

1 comment:

Protegeoflife said...

good review of account i didnt know the facts

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