Union Home Ministry urges ‘ordinary citizens’ to recognise, condemn Maoist propaganda

Weapons cache: Arms and ammunition surrendered last month by militant groups in Assam.

Weapons cache: Arms and ammunition surrendered last month by militant groups in Assam.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has listed a range of activities that “ordinary citizens” can carry out against Left Wing Extremism (LWE), which includes condemning violent incidents on social media and “recognise the propaganda war” unleashed against the Indian state by Maoist ideologues and sympathisers.

A document listing “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)“, uploaded by the LWE division of the Ministry, says citizens can “condemn the violent and brutal atrocities being perpetrated by the CPI(Maoist) and other LWE groups on innocent civilians in any available forum including the social media.”

The 18th question in the FAQ section says “What can an ordinary citizen do against Left Wing Extremism?”

The answer says that ordinary citizens can “sensitise fellow-countrymen to the dangers of outdated, failed and deeply flawed Maoist ideology to the nation-building process.”

The other point mentioned is “learn to recognize the propaganda war unleashed against the Indian state by the Maoist front organisations and Maoist ideologues/sympathizers”.

It adds, “Cherish and nurture the democratic way of life deeply enshrined in our Constitution, as opposed to the totalitarian and oppressive nature of the Maoist ideology and percepts.”

The Ministry defined Maoism as “a form of communism developed by Mao Tse Tung; It is a doctrine to capture State power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization and strategic alliances.” It said that frontal organisations of Maoists were active in 20 States.

A senior government official said almost a year after 22 security personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush at Tarrem in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has established 18 new security camps in the LWE corridor. The CRPF is one of the largest central armed police force (CAPF) deployed in LWE areas to assist the State police in conducting operations against the Maoists.

According to a CRPF official, after the April 3, 2021 attack by the Maoists, nine more camps were opened in Chhattisgarh. The work was expedited in other States also. In Odisha and Telangana, one camp each was opened; in Jharkhand, three camps and in Madhya Pradesh, four camps started functioning.

An official explained that security camps help in area domination. “Patrols can be launched faster and the presence of security forces serves as a deterrent for the movement of Maoist cadres,” the official said.

Soon after the April incident, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had said more security camps would be established in the LWE affected areas at a rapid pace and the development works in the area would also be accelerated. As many as 14 of the 27 districts in Chhattisgarh are affected by LWE violence, one of the worst-affected States. Before the security forces were ambushed, the CRPF had established 18 new security camps in South Bastar alone.

Last week, MHA informed the Rajya Sabha that the geographical spread of the LWE violence has reduced and only 46 districts reported violence in 2021 as compared to 96 districts in 2010. It added that the number of districts contributing approximately 90% of the LWE violence, categorized as the “most LWE affected districts” have come down to 25 in 2021.

It said the incidents of LWE violence reduced by 77% in 2021 — from all time high of 2,258 incidents recorded in 2009 to 509 in 2021. A comparison of LWE incidents between 2009 and 2014 shows that there was a 51% decline in number such incidents during the said period.

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 12:50:37 am |