Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday ruled out the deployment of the Army and the Air Force to tackle Maoists in central India on grounds of ethical considerations.
“We are quite clear that we can't use the Army or the Air Force to battle the Maoists in central India. We have the capability to do so but we ought not to do that,” he said after releasing a book, Long View from Delhi by the former Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Raja Menon, and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations Director Rajiv Kumar.
“We have had Sri Lanka dealing with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam challenge in a particular way. We can't do that in India. Ethical considerations influence choices.”
Bracketing the Maoist insurgency as one among three major internal security threats facing the country, the Minister said the problem was “within our control” and the government was still debating how to control it. “It is a good debate. However, at the end we will choose a path. If we persevere on the chosen path we will be able to control it.”
The second internal threat — broadly in the north-east — was also “by and large” within the government's control but the biggest threat was from right-wing extremist organisations. The most potent were the jehadi groups that had cross-border linkages. “The definition of cross border has to be amended. They are not just crossing our border and going into Pakistan. They are reaching the Middle East.” The second right-wing variety was entirely home grown and consisted of Muslim and Hindu fundamentalist groups besides some small radical Sikh elements.
The book uses the net assessment method to help Indian policymakers envisage possible alternative future scenarios that the country is likely to face in 2020 and to prepare for them.