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Maoist Movement in the States
Over the years, the Left extremists have taking advantage of the poverty and under development in the rural areas of several States have organised the Maoist movement. It slowly and gradually gathered strength and became a militant organisation whose original aim was to conduct an armed power struggle, not only against the State but against the democratic institutions of India. It instigated the rural population to join in this armed struggle, which in turn will bring salvation to the masses.

In course of time, the Maoists started extortion from the wealthy to finance their movement and started procuring arms from various sources, including raids on police stations. Since the proclaimed aim of the movement was to bring in economic improvement of the rural poor, a few left leaning intellectuals joined in to provide moral support to the movement. It took years for the movement to gather strength and a stage came when the organisation started posing serious threat to the State itself and started running a parallel administration in certain parts of the country.

In the initial years of the movement, not much attention was paid either by the Central or the State Governments. This gave a false sense of strength amongst the Maoist organisation in the various States. They stated organising themselves into a interstate militant organisation and started carrying out serious armed raids, not only against public property but also started physically eliminating its opponents including public servants.

The real cause of the growth of this movement had been the lack of economic development in certain pockets of the country. This resulted in continued struggle against poverty for the people of these under developed areas. We need not go into the causes of this neglect by the State of these areas of the country and the people leaving in these areas, as that is not the aim of this blog.

The continued neglect of the affected areas, allowed the Maoist movement to gather strength. The outfit became a serious security threat to the nation. In recent times, it has carried out large scale subversive activities which caused the death of several hundred civilians as well as government officials.

We cannot blame any particular political formation for the continued neglect of these areas and the people staying in these areas. In fact, it is a collective failure on the part of all political parties that resulted in this situation.

During the last three years, serious efforts were started by the Central and various State Governments to contain the situation. It was realised that development work in the affected areas needs to be undertaken in conjunction with police action. Certain sections of the civil society felt that it is a socio economic problem and needs to be resolved through negotiations. They were totally opposed to any police action against the Maoists. This resulted in a stalemate, as divergent views and strategies came into play.

The indecision on the part of the policy and decision makers resulted in the loss of many innocent lives. Finally when the law enforcing forces were inducted in the affected areas, they were hampered in their efforts by uncoordinated action on the part of various State forces and lack of intelligence. The sudden induction of central forces saw heavy casualties as they were easy targets as sitting ducks.

Slowly but steadily the Para military and police forces were geared up to meet the challenge. Modern and new equipment were provided to the forces and they were trained in counter insurgency jungle warfare. Efforts were made to build up the intelligence gathering machinery . At the same tile, serious efforts were made for the economic development of the affected areas. The development efforts were opposed by bthe Maoists and this resulted in slowing down of many projects. However, in course of time the policy of opposition to development alienated a considerable section of the rural population against the Maoists. They realised that supporting the insurgents are not in their interest. A few of them started switching sides and that gave the State the much needed intelligence, particularly regarding the movement of the armed Maoist elements within the dense jungles.

These developments finally yielded results. The chief organiser in the Eastern Sector Shri Kishanji, who was reported to be responsible for at least 70 killings was finally gunned down by the security forces on the 24th of November. It is the biggest success of the security forces in recent times. Let us hope now better sense will prevail amongst the rest of his team and they will come to the negotiation table, bringing an end to bloodshed and insecurity.
There are two aspects of this barbaric act by the extremist elements that resulted in the killing of top Congress leaders in Bastar region of Chattishgarh. The first is the impunity with which the attack was carried out with such meticulous planning and timing. How has this been possible under the very nose of the State Administration? The second is the larger aspect of why this movement has taken place and why it is gaining in strength and adding new areas of operation.

According to media reports, the attack appears to be well planned and it was carried out by a force of several hundred extremists who were prepositioned for the ambush. It is also reported that they were communicating amongst themselves and their leaders by wireless. They were armed with sophisticated arms like the AK-47 and Insas. The planting of the landmine, positioning of a truck to slow down the convoy and lastly the positioning of the armed insurgents on both side of the road must have taken considerable time. It is most surprising that movement of such large number of armed men and women have remained unnoticed by the local administration. It also indicates that insurgents have considerable support of the ordinary people of the area, are either supporters of the insurgents or keeps silent out of fear.

We have to accept the fact that there must have been massive lapse of local intelligence in the first place. Secondly, the security forces did not take normal precaution to ensure the safety of such a large convoy passing through dense jungle in an insurgent infested area. It is not proper to comment on these technical aspects of physical security of a convoy. I leave the question of security lapse for the various investigative agencies to find out the lapses at various levels. It is hoped that follow up action will be taken to fix responsibility for such breach of security. Secondly the recommendations of the experts to prevent such lapses in the future should be speedily implemented.

The second aspect as to why this insurgency is a very complex issue and its remedy is also equally complex. Over the years, many reasons and arguments have been put forward by experts and no useful purpose will be served by going into the details of each set of arguments and count arguments. The fact remains that it is a product of lack of socio economic development of the affected regions. We have to admit that there has been a collective failure on the part of successive administrations to bring in economic development of the backward areas located in different States of India. The movement must have started with the active support of the have not’s. However, in the recent past it has been observed that in some of the affected areas, the movement has become an instrument of extortion and terror.

In conclusion, I would like to observe that the socio economic development of the affected areas should continue despite the presence of various disruptive elements in the area. At the same time, the efforts of the security apparatus of the nation should continue its task of dealing with the insurgents through the use of force.
It also could be possible that the Naxals are the secular Ind Mujhdeen. So lets wait till the NIA comes up with its report or covers it up as usual.
The killing of SP of Pakur in Jharkhand indicates that the Naxalites are spreading their influence in new areas.The time has come to take a more serious look into the whole situation. Priliminary investigations indicate that the movement of the SP was known to the Naxalites including the identification of the car in which he was travelling. This points to the possibility of inside infomation getting leaked to the Naxalites. Let us hope that the moles would soon get identified,

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