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'Give and Take' strategy can tackle the Maoist problem
The dastardly attack by suspected Maoist guerrillas on a convoy of top state political leaders in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, killing at least 27 people, including the Congress party's state chief and the founder of 'Salwa Judum', is shocking, painful and needs to be condemned as an anti-democratic act.

This is perhaps the  biggest attack in the sprawling central Indian state since April 6, 2010, when about 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a state police personnel were killed in Mukrana forests of Dantewada district by suspected rebels.

The attack reflects the failure of the intelligence agencies to provide prior information regarding the Naxal’s plans besides failure of the state government to provide adequate security to the Parivartan Yatra launched by the Congress to mobilize support in run up to the assembly elections later in the year.

The attackers, numbering around 250, blasted a heavy Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to stop the convoy, and then fired indiscriminately.

The kidnapping and the killing of innocent people by Maoists has become a regular feature, and is of serious concern. With these killings, not only a person dies but whole of the family is disturbed when head of the family is killed. Neither the state government nor the Centre can afford to ignore serious ramifications of the incident.

The word 'Maoists' originated from the small village Naxalbari in West Bengal where leader of Communist Party of India Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal in 1967 initiated a campaign against the ruling party. In fact, Mazumdar became one of the most wanted men in India, and was captured by police in 1971. He died ten days later at 4am on July 28, 1972 -- in Lal Bazar lock-up - a prison notorious for torture. He is known as The Father of Naxalism – The Architect of CPI (M-L).

There are number of questions that strike one's mind and need to be analyzed to deal with the Maoist attacks. Why did our political system fail to reach out to the local people of the affected areas? Why did we fail to develop democratic leadership from these areas? Why did political and civil administrations fail to serve socio- economic causes of the people? Why did intelligence agencies fail to sense the activities of Maoists? How were the Maoists able to establish “international links” to fight the Indian state? Why have the Centre and state governments, till today, failed to evolve joint “comprehensive strategy” to fight the Maoists? The list of questions only gets longer.

The attack was one of the most audacious strikes by guerrillas. The number of attacks and the deaths associated with them surged in 2009 and 2010 but had waned in the past two years, with some hoping that the central government’s growing welfare outreach — including food and jobs programs — had cut support for the insurgents.

The ideology of Naxals is anti-democratic and against our constitution. The problem till date has not found favour for serious discussion, primarily because it has never been treated as an issue which deserved national attention and was treated as a socio-economic problem or at best a law and order problem of the concerned state  government.

During 2011, 611 people had died in Maoist attacks, while in 2012, it was 409, out of which 113 were security jawans and 296 local citizens. However, in 2010 attacks, 1005 persons were killed.  But during all these attacks, most of the victims have been common men.

According to an estimate, out of total more than 600 districts in India, about one-third districts are facing threats of Maoist attacks. In fact, Naxals claim to be fighting for improved land rights and more jobs for neglected agricultural labourers and the poor. The government has to think on these demands and should not wait in formulating comprehensive policy to win their favour.

Even though the Naxalite movement is an internal security concern, it can have serious consequences for the defense of the country and needs to be dealt with urgently.

However, the best course to tackle the situation is to invite the Maoists for a dialogue across the table. There is a need to adopt a give and take policy. The Naxalites should also come forward and discuss their demands across the table to sort out the issue once for all to save the innocent people.

 “Wait and Watch” policy will not now work but “Give and Take” strategy will only do the miracles to control the Naxalite movement. The central and state governments must evolve joint, comprehensive strategy to fight the Maoists by showing a sense of utmost urgency.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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