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Just Get ‘em!!

April 10, 2010

The country has witnessed one of the worst carnages in recent history of Maoist violence. Seventy six CRPF jawans were killed in a Maoist attack in Dantewada in Chattisgarh. The ferocity of the attack can be gauged from the fact that a bullet proof vehicle used to neutralize landmines was blown and reduced to a heap of mangled steel. As is their wont, the Maoists were heavily armed and in huge numbers. The CRPF jawans were caught unawares. While they fought valiantly they were outnumbered and outclassed. It was carnage and the purpose of the attack was to terrorize as well as to get political mileage. The Maoists succeeded in both their aims. An army expert called our para-military forces ‘sitting ducks’ – such was the immaculate planning and execution of the attack by the Maoists.

Needless to say there were women and children who took part in these attacks. These are families of ultras roaming in the jungles of Chota Nagpur and adjoining areas that are heavily forested and have a hilly terrain. This makes it very easy for them to camouflage their movements. It is now being said that the brother of the Maoist chief Koteshwar Rao was the one who headed this attack. Kids who accompanied their parents in the attacks were seen picking guns and ammunition from the slain CRPF soldiers.

These seventy six brave men came from all over India – from Tamil Nadu and Kerala to Jammu and Uttarakhand and everywhere else in between. The death of these young men has shaken the country. The Home Minister (Interior Minister) Mr. P Chidambaram went to Chattisgarh to pay his respect to the fallen. The widows and mothers of the young jawans were teary eyed and their grief was such that it was difficult to console them. A visibly shaken Home Minister is reported to have offered to resign only to be told by the prime minister to continue. And that is the right thing to do. The answer to the problem is not in shying away from the problem but to face it head on. The prime minister has called the Maoists the biggest threat to the security of the country.

What bothers me is not the loss of men as the helplessness shown by the Home Minister. Chidambaram has said that he is trying to do all that he can within his powers. The last part is the most disturbing – the man says that he is doing all he can ‘within his powers’. Are we to understand that the powers of the Home Minister are not enough to clamp down these Leftist ultras? That there are powers that have more clout than the Home Minister that are calling the shots or are stifling his efforts. Are we to believe that the efforts of the Home Minister are being negated by others who do not want any action against these ultras? It is true that the Home Minister is giving way too much importance to the so called ‘intellectuals’ who are trying to justify the ‘armed struggle’ of these modern day self styled Robin Hoods. These ‘intellectuals’ that have pilfered the educational institutions across the country in a big way are equating the violence of the Maoists with the so called ‘state violence’ and have in effect equated the Maoists with the state! If maintaining the rule of law is ‘state violence’ then there is no state in the world that does not indulge in ‘violence’ unless they have China in mind that has the worst human rights record. People like Arundhati Roy and others need to pause and think as to what they are advocating and what they are defending. As for us, we should just ignore such ranting from sick minds that are being tutored to say what they do and have motives that are far from pious. And that goes for our Home Minister too. He must stop pointing out to these self proclaimed defenders of ‘democracy’ and of the ‘rights of the oppressed’ and just move on and do what he has to do – decimate these ultras who are out to nibble at the state and our way of life, every time there is a Maoist attack, from the time of Francis Induwar to the carnage in Dantewada. These are people who do not count and who are renegades of the society. The apologists of these ultras are those who say that these are tribal whose land has been usurped by the state. These are not tribal but trained Maoist cadres who have sophisticated weapons and huge amounts of ammunition and landmines. Tribal cannot manage such lethal weapons. Tribal have other methods of registering their protests. These are the same people who are dead against tribal opposition to their writ in the form of Salwa Judum, which was raised by the states to fight these ultras. The mention of Salwa Judum gets them agitated and it is as if they see a monster lurking. The tribal do not like them. They feel subjugated and used by these left ultras. These Maoists are no friends of the tribal population. They have their own political agenda and that is not in consonance with the welfare of the poor and the oppressed. These self styled ‘intellectuals’ who really are benefactors of the Left ultras must shut up and stop defending the indefensible. The best way to make sure they do that is to ignore them altogether and not to give them any media space.

What bothers me most is the way the country has reacted to the killing of 76 CRPF men in Dantewada. What have we done till now? There has been a lot of discussion about the pathetic facilities provided to the men in uniform. There is also talk about inadequate training of these men. The army chief has said that these men were not trained by the army. Even if they had been trained, it would have been a short stint of a few weeks that is just not enough to get them ready for the task ahead that is jungle warfare. It is true that these men who guard the nation and make sure we sleep in peace must be treated better and must be given the best equipment and best training possible. Small things like good food catered to from a centralized kitchen to all jawans posted in the jungle should be managed as also such basics like a mosquito net and mosquito repellants must be provided. These are rudimentary requirements that must be met. I am sure there is a provision for such items. The question is whether these men are getting what is meant for them. I have a feeling that there is pilferage and graft that denied these men what is rightfully theirs. This must be checked.

Map of Dantewada

Even with all that is denied to them what is most important for them is self esteem. The CRPF jawans were seething with rage and were raring to go against these ultras. They have a point. These mass murderers must not be allowed to get away. What did the government do? The government talked and talked and talked, as did the so-called ‘experts’ who have no idea of the ground realities. These so called ‘experts’ found all fault with the system. Even if we have a flawed system, there are times when one stops talking and does what is required. And that is one sure way of rectifying the system. The Maoists could not have gone far after the horrendous attack. They must be somewhere around. Should we not have poured in forces and made sure they were encircled and neutralized. The men in uniform need to be told that the nation is with them and that we stand with them shoulder to shoulder. Should not our intelligence services pressed into service to find out as to where these Maoists have escaped after the Dantewada attack? It is true that they could have slipped into any of the adjoining states. But I am sure there is enough coordination and unanimity of purpose that the chief ministers and home ministers of these states can come together and share resources so as to nab these murderers or to neutralize them. The Maoists should have been tailed in hot pursuit and decimated. Any self imposed limits impress no one. Like saying that we shall not use air power against these ultras is tying ones own hands. Are they saying that they shall not use land mines or automatic rifles? If required, the para-military forces must use helicopter gunships to counter the Maoists. What is important is that  they are not allowed to get away after the attack. It is a matter of political will. Forces should have been called in from all the adjoining districts – the terrain understood, the possibilities marked and an operation should have been launched and these ultras must have been brought to justice. The worst thing that one can do to any security setup is to take them for granted. The men in uniform understand the language of care and belonging. Mere words will not do, those who have committed this heinous crime must be brought to book and tried for murder and sedition. We are playing with fire if we take our men in uniform for granted. Their morale and their esteem cannot be marginalized. Every ultra must be brought to book – both men and women and their kids if caught must be sent to remand homes. Remember the Punjab problem was solved in six months once the state got down to it.  This is war on the state and India cannot sit quiet. Mr. Chidambaram, just get ‘em, and damn those who defend such anti-state actors – the nation is with you.

Update 12.04.2010: IANS reports that CRPF has suspended their operations in Bastar. They reported this as follows:

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has suspended the anti-Maoist campaign in Chhattisgarh’s forests following the massacre of 75 troopers, state police sources said Monday.

‘That attack has shocked the CRPF men in Bastar,’ a high level source in the Chhattisgarh Police told IANS. Reached over telephone in Jagdalpur town, a CRPF officer refused to comment.

It is hard for anyone to believe that the CRPF personnel would give up so easily. This is a case of lack of political will and paucity of leadership. Anyone who knows the CRPF will vouch for the fact that they are one of the most rugged, tough and never-say-die force of the country. There is something fundamentally wrong when one hears that the CRPF have abandoned their operations after 76 of their men died fighting the Maoists.

By the way, some of the left leaning students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi were seen celebrating the murder of 76 CRPF jawans. When some of the students protested they were beaten up. JNU is a hotbed of Left ideologues and many of the left cadres have had their moorings in this exalted institution.

Update 18.04.2010: It is reported that the team that was investigating the Dantewada massacre was fired upon. Goes to show that the Maoists are still lurking around. If we don’t go after them they will be embolden to do what they did. IANS has reported the firing on the probe team as follows:

A team probing the Dantewada massacre came under fire from Maoist guerrillas Saturday in the Chintalnar forest of Chhattisgarh, near the site where 76 security personnel were brutally killed by leftwing rebels April 6. There were no casualties. The probe team headed by E.N. Rammohan, former director general of the Border Security Force, was fired upon in the Chintalnar forest, some 500 km south of capital Raipur. The firing took place nearly 4 km away from the spot of the April 6 massacre.

‘Maoists fired a few shots from a distance on the probe team,’ Amresh Mishra, Dantewada district superintendent of police, told IANS over phone. The police guarding the team returned fire. There is no casualty or injury,’ he said.

Mishra said the guerrillas escaped into the forest after the exchange of fire. ‘It’s difficult to say how many Maoists were involved in the firing,’ he added.

Update 21.04.2010: There are reports that Maoists have again attacked four CRPF camps in Dantewada where 76 men fell. It is clear that one needs to go after these ultras and neutralize them, or else they will come after you. It is better to be on the offensive with such guerrillas. The Times of India has reported the incident as follows:

RAIPUR: Maoists on Tuesday night carried out near-simultaneous attacks on four CRPF camps in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, triggering gunbattles but there was no immediate report of casualties.

About 300 to 400 Naxalites carried out the attacks on the camps of the paramilitary personnel at Chintangufa, where 75 CRPF men and a policeman were killed in the worst Maoist strike two weeks ago, Kanker Lanka, Potampalli and Bheji in quick succession beginning at around 1930 hours, sources said.

The CRPF men retaliated, sparking intermittent gunbattles with the Maoists in all the four places till 2130 hours.

There was no immediate report of any casualty on either side, said the sources.

The Prime Minister has again stated that the biggest threat facing the nation is the one from the Maoists. He was speaking in Delhi in a conclave of Civil servants. In the meanwhile the opposition Congress Party has claimed that the BJP led government in Chhatisgarh does not have any presence in Bastar. This may well be true and shows how critical this problem has become for the various states.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 29, 2010 12:34 pm

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