Eschew partisan politics to check Maoist threat
By The New Indian Express
03rd July 2012 12:32 AM
The manner in which some Maoist sympathizers and political parties have started a campaign against the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) over one of the most successful operations against Maoists in Chhattisgarh on June 29 is unfortunate. Significantly, soon after the incident in which 19 persons were killed, Union home minister P Chidambaram praised the CRPF for the courage and skill of its personnel and had claimed that three important Maoist leaders had been killed in the raid. However, a little later a delegation of the Congress, which is in the opposition in the State Assembly, went to the site and dubbed the incident a ‘completely fake encounter’, claiming that all those killed were innocent villagers. The CRPF director-general said that the whole operation had been planned for nearly a year and only on specific information about Maoists being present the forces had moved in.
Clearly, the security forces are battling a very tough opposition that does not come out in the open and fight. The use of civilians, including children, as human shields is a new trend in this movement. Not only do they shield their leaders by putting the innocents in the line of fire, their killing in security operations also serves to spark off hatred against the police and state which helps the Maoists further their cause. This is what has apparently happened in the Chhattisgarh operation.
While the security forces must evolve a strategy to minimise such collateral damage, this should not be allowed to halt the campaign against the Maoists, who themselves think nothing about shedding innocent blood. While at times mistakes do happen during a major encounter, security forces will need to retool their strategy to ensure that innocent lives are not lost as it will only end up putting a question mark on the entire operation. At the same time, partisan politics must be eschewed in the interests of controlling the Maoist threat which is a grave one. Finally, all sides must await the results of the magisterial inquiry that has been ordered into the incident and respect its findings regardless of what they are.
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