Last week, Maoists attacked a security patrol, killing 16 people, including 11 personnel of the CRPF, in a daytime ambush in the worst-hit Sukuma district of Chhattisgarh, a gory reminder of the 2010 Dantewada massacre, in which 76 CRPF personnel were killed. After a brief lull, the storm has been unleashed once again by Maoists. The recent Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh is a reflection of the desperation of the Maoists to get maximum mileage and attention and to boost the morale of the cadres. It is noteworthy that this ghastly attack took place about a month before the Lok Sabha elections in Chhattisgarh. It seems the central government is not taking Maoists so seriously, even though Maoists are just killing our jawans in sheer cold blood. I don’t understand, how do Maoists buy so much sophisticated arms and ammunition? Where do they get the money from? Such deals must happen somewhere in India, but when we have CID, RAW, IB and CBI, why can’t the government stop them from such deals. The intention of the government appears to be very doubtful, as Maoist cadres of women and children are swelling significantly. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 30 per cent of armed cadres of the Maoists are women, who are also being used as human shields. In the Maoist attack on May 25, 2013, in Darbha valley of Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, in which 27 people were killed, a bullet-ridden Mahendra Karma, the prime target, was stabbed more than 70 times by the women cadres. Furthermore, children are being denied childhood. As per latest reports, Maoists have recruited nearly 10,000 children including girls for their outfits ‘Bal Sangham’ and ‘Bal Dasta’. These children are between the age of 10 and 15 years. Hence, it cannot be gainsaid that Maoists are criminalising women and children of this country. Their souls are being brutalised. Their souls are crying to be salvaged by the State. But the gruesome murders of CRPF personnel in the recent ambushes have created such terror that no political activity can be carried out without the sanction or collusion of the Maoists.
It is noteworthy that in this atmosphere of incessant terror, there cannot be free and fair elections. In the Red Corridor, there are many legislators in the country, who owe their position directly to the machinations of the Maoists. It runs across the political spectrum. Maoists are, hence, perverting the Indian Constitution in the name of ‘revolution’. The authority of the Constitution cannot remain in suspended animation. Women, children, students, teachers, Constitution and above all democracy—Maoists have inflicted wounds on every section of society and State institution, given the forthcoming general elections. What is alarming is the fact that Maoism is an ideological movement which is intended to overthrow India’s parliamentary democracy and replace it with an ideological dictatorship, where there will be no democracy, no freedom, no right to life and liberty. In this perspective, the return of the red terror after May 2013 is disconcerting, as close to 2014 mega elections, our internal security is under threat again. Furthermore, the cause of worry is our armed forces have fallen victim without any casualties from the insurgents.
The nature of recent attacks raises disquiet that old restraint may fall away. Attacks on security personnel and local politicians in the affected states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal should be a wake-up call. Until now, the cat and mouse game was being played between the ultras and the security forces, whether it be the local police, the Cobra battalions, the CRPF or the Special Operations Group (SOG). The death of jawans and officers had become routine. The morale of the officers, foot soldiers, bureaucrats and the administration is all at a low. These rural assaults may soon be followed by urban ones. The Maoists would soon try to carry out spectacular violence over soft targets in urban centres. This is a very bad news for India. When will we stop Maoist attacks? For, the cycle of violence continues unabated. Against this backdrop it is worth mentioning that the dilemma before the Indian State is perhaps its inability to determine the nature and scope of the Maoist movement. The officials who man the security and combing operations in that vulnerable areas have utterly failed to learn from their past experiences. Had they given aerial support to the combing party, they could have avoided the loss of lives. It is also evident that there is some communication gap among all arms of the security forces who undertake such risky operations. The forces must also take the support of GPRS and satellite monitoring. Furthermore, both central and state governments need to give special packages to CRPF and police of Naxal-affected states to improve military technology by giving advance arms and ammunition to counter such attacks of Maoists. Soldiers must be specialised in handling Maoists activity. More intelligence services must set up in Naxal-affected states and state governments must play an important role in adhering to pass on warnings, given by such intelligence service, to our military services. But the State’s ambiguity has resulted in a stalemate in the crucial fight against the creeping progress of the Naxalite movement in the country, with them gaining an upper hand. It appears nobody is seemingly bothered and thus such incidents are bound to happen frequently in the future. Therefore, it is high time the government asserted itself and enforced laws to curb the menace of Maoist terrorism. Would that happen in the near future? A good million-dollar question!