Homeland Security

Combating 'Red Terror'
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Issue Vol 25.1 Jan-Mar2010 | Date : 19 Oct , 2010

The Indian ‘Red Brigade’ is the Indian brand of Taliban. It assumes different aliases, the current favourite being ‘Maoists’. In the modern context, they stand for ‘insurgency, violence, terror and war’. In fact, they are more dangerous than the Taliban because of the multifold threat they pose to Indian nationhood. The Indian Taliban has, lately, handed over its remote control into foreign hands. The latest upsurge in their activity is a clear indication of China’s desire to break up India into ‘20-30 parts’. Undoubtedly the Maoists/Naxalites of India are the ‘proxy’ soldiers of our northern neighbor.

It is truism that initial concern of the so called revolutionaries for peasants, poor, downtrodden and tribal, is a façade for ultimately conquering their own country. Sympathy for the poor people is the mask that hides the ugly face of their satanic ambitions. The revolutionaries and their leaders no less exploit the masses as do the people they do accuse of. From Marshal Tito to Fidel Castro to Mao-Ze-dong to Dr Sukarno the script is the same. Even some of the initially popular dictators like Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Marcos, Allende and Latin American dictators played these populist themes to stir the public mood and sentiments. “Fight for the poor and downtrodden” is the magical ladder. This is also true of all the ‘Kishanjees’, ‘Koteshwar Raos’, ‘Kobad Ghandys’ and ‘Ganpathis’ who masquerade as leaders of the Maoists/Naxalites.

“¦ the Maoists do not believe in democracy. They do not accept our constitutional system and intend to establish “˜Peoples Republic through the use of terror.

As the name suggests ‘Maoists’ draw inspiration from Mao-Zedong of China, who believed in violent revolution to bring socio-politico change in his country. They go by the brand name of Communist Party of India (Maoists), which came into existence in 2004, with the amalgamation of Maoist Coordination Centre (MCC) of Kishanjee and People’s War group (PWG) of Ganpathi, the outfits functioning in Andhra Pradesh since 1975 and 1980 respectively. They were a break-away group of the Communist Party of India (Marxists-Leninists) formed in 1969.

The naxalites movement began in 1967 as a peasant movement in the small village of Naxalbari in West Bengal, as a revolt against the high handedness of landlords. The revolt was led by two leaders of Communist Party of India-Marxists or CPI-(M), namely Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal. It later broke away from CPI (M) to form All India Communist Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) which, in 1969, turned into Communist Party of India (Marxists-Leninists) or CPI (M-L).

Most of the splinter groups of Naxalites/ Maoists ideologies owe their origin to CPI (M-L). In the south, we had a Dakshin Desh group in the 50s, which became Maoists Coordination Centre (MCC). As stated earlier, it later merged with the People’s War Group (PWG) to form Communist Party of India-’Maoists’ or CPI (Maoists) on September 21, 2004. In July 2001, Maoists groups all over South Asia formed a Coordination Committee of Maoists Parties and Organizations in South Asia (CCMPOSA).

Over the last three years, Naxalites/Maoists have killed some 2600 people including police and paramilitary force personnel in some 5800 incidents. The highest numbers of incidents of violence have taken place in the states of Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa. As per the Home Ministry, some 222 people had been killed in these states between January 2006 and August 2009.

The hijacking of trains, first a passenger train in Jharkhand and then the more prestigious Rajdhani Express in West Bengal; beheading of a Jharkhand police officer; forcing of the West Bengal government to swap 22 Maoists for a kidnapped police officer; blowing up of a police station in Bihar; ambushing a police party in Chhatisgarh; firing on the Indian Air Force helicopter in Chhatisgarh during election duty in the parliamentary elections in 2009 and numerous other incidents of violence which have taken place in various states in the eastern and central regions of India, do give us an indication of the coming deluge of violence, chaos and disorder in the Red Corridor in particular and the country as a whole. (see map below). Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, rightly warned the nation that the biggest threat to Indian security emanated from the Maoists.

The latest upsurge in their activity is a clear indication of Chinas desire to break up India into “˜20-30 parts. Undoubtedly the Maoists/Naxalites of India are the “˜proxy soldiers of our northern neighbor.

The map indicates that the entire eastern coastal region along the Bay of Bengal is affected Maoist terror. It therefore poses a serious threat to the integrity and unity of India. Initially, the Maoists/Naxalites movement was confined to some 5-6 states only. Till about 2007, it affected some 190, out of 604 districts in about 10 states in India. At present, according to the Home Minister P Chidambaram, the menace has spread to more than 2000 police stations in 233 districts of 20 states. The Maoist menace has now engulfed some 40,000 square kilometers across the country and it is estimated some 25 Lakh people inhabit the areas wherein Maoists/Naxalites have a free run.

Mr P Chidambaram has stated that the centre and state governments had not paid attention to this issue for the last 10-13 years. Therefore, it is imperative to address the genuine problems of the people before we think of any solution to this menace.

the-red-corridorMr Ashok Sahu, a retired IPS officer of Andhra Cadre with extensive experience in handling the PWG, has brought out the real causes of the rise of Maoists. In his article “Maoist Menace; Naxalite Offensive”, in the South Asia Intelligence Review of October 2009, he lists the root causes as poor governance, want of social justice, lack of electoral reforms, corruption in the judiciary and bureaucracy, poor state of rural roads, absence of primary health care, education and employment opportunities. He warns that so long as the basic causes persist, the Maoists cannot be stopped from expanding in the rural areas and then forming front organizations in urban areas. The front organizations are the recruitment points for selection of their future leaders. At present, the district level guerrilla commanders and party leaders get handsome remuneration and are technologically well equipped. In their perspective plan for urban expansion, technological up-gradation and access to the mining belt and industrial towns in Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are given top priority. The Maoists are also reported to be creating a huge arms storage facility in Kolkatta. Revolutionary graffiti can be seen on the walls of police stations in the city. A large number of students of Kolkatta and Jadhav University are active Maoist cadres. We need these issues into account while formulating our strategy to combat this menace.

It is therefore imperative to understand the philosophy of Maoists and their stated strategy. Many wrong notions of our peaceniks need to be dispelled. The Maoist leader Kishan Ji, addressed the media the day he released Mr. Dutta, a kidnapped police officer of West Bengal. He called him a ‘Prisoner of War.’ Therefore, let us be clear that Maoists think it is war they are fighting against the Union of India.

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