It is shocking to learn of the circumstances of the killing of the CRPF personnel (“Tripping on old mistakes”, March 13). It was an error on the part of the CRPF and the State authorities to send them on patrol knowing that Maoists were waiting to ambush. The fact reamins that we are incapable of tackling Maoism comprehensively. There will be many reasons given and many more Maoist attacks, but nobody will be held accountable except the martyred jawans!
The government’s job does not end with mere acknowledgment of the Maoist insurgency being a grave threat to the country’s internal security. Its attempts to eliminate the menace, in the shape of Operation Green Hunt and Salwa Judum, have not produced any significant result, other than taking a heavy toll on the lives of the marginalised. For the first time, the Maoists are believed to have been loosening their grip over the villages where they once wielded great influence. Positive signs — such as an unprecedented voter turnout in the Maoist-dominated regions in the last Assembly election in Chhattisgarh and desertions from the Maoist ranks — need to be capitalised on by the government.
I believe it is lack of interest on the part of the State governments in dealing with insurgents that has made the Maoist issue such a challenging one. Our tribal brothers often being unaware of the political, social, and economic changes taking place outside their region, they are not able to exercise the needed discretion when they encounter extremist propaganda. The state’s presence needs to be more broad-based. People working as part of a State’s local administration generally belong to the same State and know the ground conditions much better than Central paramilitary forces or other forces tackling insurgency. If we empower these people, they will definitely unite villagers.