This refers to the editorial “Inviting repression” (May 27). Over the years, Maoists have tried to drive home their message by eliminating high value targets. If they really want to spread their ideology, they should connect with the larger masses. To do this, they should enter the political mainstream. If they insist on using the gun and do not come to the negotiating table, they will be seen as mindless killers who ought to be eliminated with poor villagers becoming collateral damage.
The bullets pumped into the body of Congress leader and founder of Salwa Judum, Mahendra Karma, who enjoyed Z-plus security, are a message to anyone who dares to oppose the diktats of the Naxalites in Chhattisgarh. The savagery, precision and ease with which they carried out the large-scale ambush at Darbha on Saturday make a mockery of the operations initiated by the Central forces and the State police.
It is very true that by their mindless act of violence, the Maoists have invited the only reaction that normally follows from the state — repression. Their few sympathisers may not be able to raise their voice at least for some time now. It would be in the Maoists’ own interest to realise that in a democracy, there is no place for violence. They should lay down their arms and seek a dialogue through their sympathisers with the state.
Governments just do not seem to know how to curb the naxal menace. It is sad that crores of money meant for the development of naxal-infested regions go down the drain because of faulty implementation and the absence of cooperation from people. While taking strong steps to curb naxalism, a movement of sociologists, well-meaning citizens and government officials should be launched to engage the ultras in a purposeful dialogue. A repressive, blood-for-blood approach will not end the cycle of violence and loss of innocent lives.
The remote and far-flung areas of Dandkaranya reel under extreme backwardness, apathy and negligence. Kirandul, Bacheli and Bailadila have seen some urbanisation but the overall situation in Chhattisgarh does not inspire confidence, promise or hope.
On the Bailadila-Jagdalpur highway, one can see makeshift barriers — tree trunks and branches. People stop luxury buses and take money to allow safe passage. Although the money paid is a paltry sum, the confidence and doggedness of the tribals betray the covert backing of Naxalites. Chhattisgarh needs dedicated and people-oriented governance. As long as Naxalism is seen through the prism of law and order, it will flourish and the state will diminish.
Killing common people, leaders of political parties and security personnel are not only heinous crimes but also opportunism. The Chhattisgarh incident must make our parties and the government to reach out to backward tribal belts where development is still a distant dream. People need political and educational empowerment if they are to be weaned away from extremist forces.
Uttam K. Bhowmik,
The prime target of the Naxalites was Mahendra Karma who, they allege, was responsible for dividing the adivasis. The government should make serious efforts to bring the naxals into the political mainstream. The tribal people of Chhattisgarh figure at the bottom of the social hierarchy.
Vijay D. Patil,
The fight between Maoists and politicians increases the internal threat to the nation. It is the attitude of politicians and administrators that is responsible for this conflict. Counter-attack cannot be a solution to the problem. Only integration and peaceful talks between government representatives and Maoist leaders will help find a solution to the vexed issue.
As a common man, I strongly condemn the Darbha attack. It will not only affect peace, tranquillity, and equitable development in the adivasi region but also lead to the spiralling of violence in the area.
It has been reported in some sections of the media that it was only due to the lack of security and neglect of safety procedures that the ghastly attack took place. But reports also say over 300 well armed Naxalites ambushed the Congress leaders’ motorcade. Whether more security personnel could have made a difference is debatable.
The Naxalites must have been tipped of the leaders’ movements and their thin security cover. The lack of intelligence on the Naxalites was also a serious lapse.
Enough of sympathies. Enough of talks. The Maoists should be defeated in their bloody game. It is time the Centre and the States fought the menace together. When the Centre talks of a strong joint mechanism to fight terrorism, the Opposition sees it as interference in the rights of States. They need to find a common ground to make India safe. Besides a joint mechanism, we need tougher State police and better police-public coordination.