State planning a permanent mechanism to tackle Maoists

The Kerala government is planning to set up a permanent mechanism to tackle the suspected threat of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) which has now formed a guerrilla zone in the tri-junction of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that deploying the ‘Thunderbolts Kerala,’ the newly formed commando force of the Kerala Police, in the State’s region of the Western Ghats was not feasible to deal with the challenges posed by the CPI(Maoist).

The Thunderbolts has been trained in jungle warfare. It would not be competent for an anti-Maoist operation, unlike the deadly Grey Hounds in Andhra Pradesh and CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) of the Central Reserve Police Force. Kerala’s commando wing could be used only for clandestine and destructive raiding.

Long-term solutions

Officials said that specific long-term solutions were needed for counterinsurgency operations. Kerala should constitute an elite force led by an officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police to deal with Left extremism that has emerged in Gudalur, Wayanad, Nilambur, Kodaikanal, Udupi, and parts of Dakshina Kannada.

The Karnataka government had established an anti-Naxalite unit and its personnel had been imparted training by CoBRA. This has helped that State’s police to foil an attempt by Maoists to declare the formation of the Western Ghats guerrilla zone in Dakshina Kannada in 2012.

Incidentally, the security apparatus of the governments of Kerala and Karnataka had been caught unawares after the CPI(Maoist) formed the new guerrilla zone of its Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee. The outfit had planned to attack the Thirunelly police station on February 18 to mark the martyrdom of Naxalite Varghese, who was shot dead by the police in an encounter at Thirunelly in 1970. The now-aborted attack was to announce that the organisation had started its second-stage operations by creating a guerrilla zone for its People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army.

Activities of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) at the tri-junction of the Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu borders were reported as early as 2011.

The Union Ministry for Home had then alerted the government of the CPI (Maoist) developing the tri-junction into a ‘perspective area’ for their activities. The ‘perspective area’ is the first stage in which the Maoists do step-by-step activity such as identifying a location, surveying the area, and building up its organisational base.

Already the Maoists have infiltrated the local populace in these States and they have secretly formed ‘dalams’ (guerrilla squads) and conducted training camps. This means that the Maoists could look at doing an “opportunistic strike.” The organisation will then go ahead with ‘mobile warzone,’ similar to a situation in Dandakaranya.

As of now, the Maoists have strong guerrilla zones at North Telengana Special Zonal Committee, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, and the Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee.

  • Commando force is trained in jungle warfare

  • Karnataka has formed an anti-Naxalite unit