The ambush in the Dantewada forest of Chhattisgarh which claimed the lives of 74 CRPF personnel is perhaps the worst act of Maoist insurgency the country has seen. The Maoists are gaining in strength in the heart of India. There appears to be a total collapse of policing and intelligence.
Maoists pose a direct threat to the writ of the Indian state. Their alarming ability to strike at will highlights the inadequacy of state intervention.
One fails to see how those sitting in New Delhi can proclaim that the perpetrators are our own people and we must, therefore, exercise restraint while dealing with them.
Syed Abid Shah,
That 74 security personnel became sacrificial goats because of poor planning in Dantewada is deplorable. Thanks to the efficient combing operations by the Andhra Pradesh police, naxalites have shifted base to Chhattisgarh and other States.
As Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram should know this better than anyone else. He cannot escape responsibility by expressing shock and saying something must have drastically gone wrong in the CRPF-police joint operation. The common man also knows that something must have gone wrong.
It is not enough to simply express shock and grief as we have been doing all along. It is time to channel the anger generated by the outrageous act and take credible action to ensure no more lives are thrown away.
Tuesday's ambush exposed the state's weakness in dealing with a ruthless, battle-hardened insurgent outfit. However, the setback should not diminish the morale of the security forces.
A well-planned, all-out offensive, deploying the Army and the Air Force if necessary, should be evolved to find a lasting solution to the menace.
Maoists train in hideout camps whereas our security forces are trained in professional establishments. Yet they fall prey to Maoist attacks. Is the fighting capability of Maoists superior to what the state provides to its security personnel?
The judiciary and the NHRC should seek a report on what went wrong in Dantewada from the officials concerned. Our political leadership, too, should be made accountable because no politician ever answers anyone, however big his or her blunder.
The time has come for the security forces to abandon their old ways of tackling Maoists, which are more or less predictable, and start thinking in the way the ultras do. They should follow the techniques of the ultras, not wait for them to appear before them.
Notwithstanding the rhetoric regarding the government's resolve to fight the naxal menace, the recent spate of attacks shows that the security personnel posted in naxal-infested regions are ill-trained and ill-equipped. One hopes Tuesday's massacre will send a message that is loud enough to ring a bell in the ears of the administration.
The Maoists' dream of achieving their political and social goals through violence is bizarre. India's democratic history is replete with examples of issues fought and goals achieved through peaceful means.
Maoists have become addicted to violence. All efforts of bringing them to the mainstream have failed. It is time the government decided to deal with them with an iron fist.
The Dantewada attack exposed the government's weakness in tackling the Maoist menace. It is indeed time strict action was taken against the insurgents who challenge the sovereignty of the state every other day.
The colossal military might acquired by Maoists makes one dumb with fear. Instead of resorting to the conventional political manoeuvre of passing the buck, the Centre and the States should stand together to eliminate the Maoists entrenched in various parts of the country. Efforts should also be made to redress genuine grievances to prevent alienation among the rural poor.
The massacre is a reminder of the fact that police action alone is not a solution to the naxal menace. The pursuit of the policy of three Ds — dialogue, development and delivery system — must supplement police action.
The Central government should rethink its strategy. While involving the Army is not desirable, fighting the naxals with State police personnel who are not trained in guerrilla warfare serves no purpose.
There is also the issue of underdevelopment and unemployment. The attacks on the state machinery, if romanticised, will force more unemployed and uneducated youth into naxalism.
The Union Home Secretary's response that a firmer reply would be given to Tuesday's attack will take us nowhere. Violence cannot be met by violence.
T. Anand Raj,
When Maoists show no mercy, why should the government be lenient towards them? We are now in a state of undeclared war.
The government should take steps to decimate the ultras, rather than invite them for talks.
P. Guru Prasad,
Does the government still think the Maoists will come to the negotiating table? A fight to the finish is the need of the hour.