The Prime Minister’s statement that he is not in favour of deploying the armed forces for anti-naxal operations is inexplicable. The army is deployed for operations against insurgents in Assam and the northeast. The naxals are in no way different from insurgents. They kill fellow citizens, sabotage railway tracks with the intention of causing death and destruction, and create anarchy.

So far, operations against them by the police have not yielded much. They can be tackled only by an elite force trained in jungle warfare.

M.K.B. Nambiar,

Mahe

Although the Prime Minister is not inclined to use the armed forces against Maoists — saying the local police and other paramilitary forces are enough to tackle them — repeated attacks by them prove that they are consolidating themselves to upset the democratic process in the country.

It is time the Centre reconsidered its strategy to root out the naxal menace.

R. Murali Kumar,

Tiruchi

I wonder why the government is reluctant to take stringent action despite frequent naxal attacks, which have claimed several lives. Banning a particular outfit and resorting to peace talks will serve no purpose. I do not think it will take more than an hour for our NSG commandos and the army to eliminate the extremists.

Ippili Santhosh Kumar,

Srikakulam

Maoists are killing people and destroying property at will in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and issuing open threats to the administration. When authorities entrusted with maintaining law and order are eliminated, it is a public threat. No government can watch silently when its citizens are eliminated. Paramilitary forces and the armed forces should be directed to do everything that is necessary for the common man to move about without fear in his own land.

V. Kumar,

Kanyakumari

The precision and organisation with which the naxals strike show that they are quite resourceful and can use their talent for development and welfare if they want to. But by using violence and arming people, they act against the interests of those they claim to work for. If the government decides to take ruthless action to control the naxal menace, it is the people with arms, not Maoist leaders using them, who will become victims.

The government should, therefore, crack down on Maoist leaders and political parties supporting the ultras.

Ravit Sharma,

Dehradun

The criticism that the government is waging a war against its own people is a catchy slogan, but far removed from reality. Till now, the government was castigated for inaction because it allowed naxalites to spread their influence across the country. The Maoists, the self-styled protectors of the marginalised, have made no secret of their ultimate aim of overthrowing the elected government through violence. Poor governance and development-deficit cannot be excuses for taking up arms against the state, especially when there are peaceful ways of exposing official misdeeds and injustice. Having said this, the government cannot postpone the more difficult task of taking governance to the doorsteps of the deprived sections.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

It is meaningless to believe that Maoists have any ideology and are fighting for some worthy cause. They are misguided youths who derive pleasure from acts of violence. The government should not wait and keep stressing that they should lay down arms. It is futile to expect them to change their heart. The only way to suppress them is to use stringent action.

D.V. Raghavan,

Bangalore

The Prime Minister’s observation that naxalism is the greatest internal threat is absolutely correct. As he said, the lack of development in certain areas is making way for the increase in naxalism. The administration should be corrected to tackle the naxal menace better. Any anti-social and anti-national activity should be nipped in the bud.

M.V. Mukundhan,

Chennai

The life of the poor in naxal-dominated areas is pathetic. The government has not done anything solid to ameliorate their living conditions. While taking stern action to contain the Maoist insurgency, the government should also concentrate on development activities in these areas for a permanent solution to this problem.

Sravana Ramachandran,

Udhagamandalam

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