Monday, October 12, 2009

India confused about dealing with Naxals

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

India is no stranger to terror, be it the home grown terror in the North East or the cross border terrorism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir India has seen it all. Killings, explosion, extortion and atrocities are no longer foreign words in an Indian's life. Yet the new face of terror the 'Red Terror' as it is being called has suddenly shaken the entire nation. What was thought to be a local armed moment in the backward regions of the country is spreading like wild fire in the entire countryside and may soon hit urban India.

The alarming thing is that both the Centre and the various state governments have no concrete plans to tackle it. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee requesting Jharkhand to act against the Naxals to complement police action against the outlawed outfits by the West Bengal police proves the poor coordination between the states. Even though more than 140 districts of the country are severely effected by this menace and another 200 partially effected we still do not have a proper task force to deal with the problem.

Red Terror was allowed to grow because the entire government thought it to be a rural problem and never really cared to take it seriously. The fall of the monarchy in Nepal and the subsequent rise of Maoist in Nepal politics was missed by our security forces. Peace in Nepal meant that the focus could be shifted to the armed struggle in India. In the last few years the attacks carried out by the Naxals have been so ferocious that our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh acknowledged it to be the single biggest threat to the nation.

There is a school of thought that Naxalism rose due to the socio-economic problem of the people in the tribal belts of the country. May be true but this armed conflict has now taken a monstrous shape. Although many Human Rights group back Red Terror being members of the civil society how on earth can they justify beheading of people in the name ideology? Or blowing up schools, electricity lines, mobile towers and than blaming the government for backwardness?

The government should draft a clear plan towards dealing with this armed moment. The Naxals should not be treated any less than thugs and bandits. Given the fact that these people do not believe in the channel of Indian democracy to table their thoughts the State should take them on with a iron fist. Naxalism is no longer a socio-economic problem but a armed moment against the people of these nation and should be dealt with firmly.


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