Homeland Security

Maoists: Crimson Tide
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Issue Vol. 28.2 Apr-Jun 2013 | Date : 24 Aug , 2013

With adequate potential for civil war aimed at Balkanizing India, the Maoist insurgency requires total national focus and synergy, according equal importance to politico-social-economic issues in addition to operations by security forces to manage violence levels. As India races against time to manage social change, the Maoist insurgency must be given due priority. India must also, in all sincerity, establish deterrence against irregular forces and their external support bases on proactive basis.

If we cannot get our act together, the Maoist insurgency will consume us in the coming years.

The repeated dance of death in Dantewada, Bhadrakali, Garhchiroli and the recent macabre killings of 13 CRPF personnel and four civilians at Latehar closely followed by severely injuring another 11 CRPF personnel at Bokaro has once again exposed government intransigence and the hollowness of claims by the Home Ministry since 2010 that the Maoist insurgency will be resolved in the next two to three years. The fable of Indian crabs pulling each other down is passé – replaced by the Indian ostrich that simply refuses to recognise what is so very obvious. Ironically, the lives of security forces personnel appear to be of little value.

Latehar has affirmed the gross lack of understanding of the Maoist problem, absence of required strategy, inadequacies of the security forces and most significantly, leaving the issue to be dealt with by individual States. If China and Pakistan are leaving no stone unturned to create a civil war-like situation in India, it is because we have offered them, and continue to offer them a readymade asymmetric battlefield covering 40 per cent of the country. The writing on the wall is clear – if we cannot get our act together, the Maoist insurgency will consume us in the coming years. The crimson tide is coming.

Ideology

It would be prudent for the policy makers to read the Maoist document titled “Strategy and Tactics for the Indian Revolution” scripted as late as 2004 that says, “The central task of the Indian Revolution is the seizure of political power. To accomplish this, the Indian people will have to be organized in the People’s Army and will have to wipe out the armed forces of the counter revolutionary Indian State and establish in its place their own state”. It further goes on to say, “As a considerable part of the enemy’s armed forces will inevitably be engaged against the growing tide of struggle by various nationalities, it will be difficult for the Indian ruling classes to mobilize all their armed forces against our revolutionary war”.

Treating the Maoist insurgency lightly and underestimating their military potential will be a great folly.

Treating the Maoist insurgency lightly and underestimating their military potential will be a great folly especially knowing that the ideologies for the Maoists in both Nepal and India were scripted in Beijing. It is not without reason that CPI (M) cadres were openly visiting China in the past and perhaps may even be conferring with Wei Wei, China’s Ambassador to India akin to Hurriyaat in cahoots with Salman Bashir. It may be recalled that Zhang Yan, Wei Wei’s predecessor, when questioned about the Chinese map showing Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh in China and Kashmir in Pakistan, arrogantly told an Indian journalist to shut up. Our policy paralysis apart, there should be no doubt that the Maoist insurgency is a dangerous secessionist movement.

Nexus

China-Pakistan anti-India irregular warfare nexus goes back five decades when “Zhou-en-Lai while visiting Pakistan in early 1960s advised Ayub Khan that Pakistan should prepare for prolonged conflict with India instead of short term wars by raising a militia force to act behind enemy lines” as chronicled by a FS Aijazuddin in his book ‘From a Head, Through a Head, To a Head – The Secret Channel between the US and China through Pakistan’, published in Karachi in the year 2000. These are the jihadis of Pakistan embedded pan-India over the years that subsequently acquired Indian identity and are directly in touch with Islamabad (read Pakistani Military-ISI) as well as Beijing’s proxies. Axiomatically, Pakistani proxies, spearheaded by LeT, work in tandem with Beijing’s wishes as part of their combined project to destabilise India.

Training of hardcore Maoists in mines/IED/explosives by the LTTE was organised by the ISI. LeT representatives have been attending Maoist meetings for the past three years. Pakistani ordnance factory ammunition has been found with Maoists, as have Chinese assault rifles and sophisticated communication equipment. Some of this has even been discovered buried underground in weather-proof bags, as in Odisha, indicating preparation for a well-planned long term campaign. The administration is blissfully unaware about who is supplying the Maoists with AK-56 and M-16 rifles in addition to the Chinese AK 47s, Italian-make pistols, Uzis, British-make bullet-proof jackets and sophisticated laptops. The fact that Nepal’s Maoists are in touch with Indian Maoists is no secret. Remember the Chinese stooge, Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda declaring few years back that the ‘ultimate fight will be with the Indian Army’?

There should be no doubt that the Maoist insurgency is a dangerous secessionist movement.

The Government may shy away from talking plain but open source intelligence gives ample pointers: China providing sanctuary to ULFA post their rout from Bhutan; Chinese nationals arrested in India with fake Indian documents on a mission to contact Naga insurgents; China providing weapon manufacturing capabilities to Indian Maoists as well as Kachen rebels in Myanmar, latter supplying assault rifles to the People’s Liberation Army of Manipur (PLAM) and onwards to Maoists – not without reason that 40 million illegal weapons are circulating in India with annual trade amounting to some US$4 million; China-Pakistan nexus coordinating and integrating insurgent outfits.

The strategic aims of China and Pakistan are threefold – create a Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ) combining all insurgent/terrorist outfits within India and increase their combat potential; suck the Indian Military, particularly the Army into the Maoist insurgency; reduce India to fighting its own people, degrading its external combat potential, economy and regional/global aspirations.

The Indian Mujahideen are the creation of Pakistan. Arming of the Popular Front of India (PFI) against the Indian State is courtesy Al Qaeda and LeT, both having established themselves in Kerala four years ago. Despite clear evidence with R&AW, the PFI does not even figure in the list of 35 banned organisations in India issued by the MHA. Strong Chinese-Pakistani links exist with the present day opposition in Bangladesh and the latter’s encouragement to anti-India terrorist activities, support to insurgents including through terrorist organisations such as the JMB and JMJB HUJI Bangladesh, all of which need constant monitoring.

Strong Chinese-Pakistani links exist with the present day opposition in Bangladesh…

Latehar

Over the years, Latehar has been preceded by many massacres, trains derailing causing loss of hundreds of innocent lives, effective mine/IED attacks on CPOs, chilling killings, beheadings, chopping limbs, plus abductions of officials, security personnel and perceived informers. Booby trapping of the dead is an old practice of the LTTE encountered by the IPKF and the security forces should have been trained for it. But the most disturbing part was the ease with which Deo Kumar Singh alias Arvindji, the CPI (M) member managed to lead some 200-strong CRPF contingent into an ambush posing as an ‘informer’ under lure of a catch. More importantly, how could the CRPF proceed in single file (as if on picnic) without ensuring flank protection and securing heights overlooking their approach, from where they actually drew fire? Certainly, the company/force commander(s) need to be sacked, more so because 14 lives (including) ten CRPF were lost. Arvindji got away and not a single Maoist was killed. Whatever happened to the much trumpeted training for counter insurgency operations after losing 80 CRPF personnel along with their weapons and even mortars to Maoists at Dantewada in April 2010?

Time and again, CRPF reverses in combating the Maoists have revealed lack of basic tactics in throwing out scouts, listening posts, securing heights and dominating heights. Analyses show they are shy of moving cross country and prefer travelling in vehicles and tractor trailers. In such an environment, whether the CRPF is actually securing an area of one and a half kilometres around a prospective helicopter zone too is highly doubtful. Lack of intelligence too is glaring in the Lateher incident where a prominent Maoist leader like Arvindji was not even known by face to CRPF troops engaged in countering insurgency.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

is a former Lt Gen Special Forces, Indian Army

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One thought on “Maoists: Crimson Tide

  1. Respected Sir
    I have been reading your articles for quite some time and really admire your concern and dedication for the country.I too am quite worried about the future of our beloved India ,where poor are being left to fend for themselves against the rot of poverty and unemployment while the so called leaders of the country are busy cashing in votes for the next general elections.We are faced with adversaries from all sides as well as from within which is crippling the country apart.Our armed forces have always remained strong but off late their moral has also been low due to recent spate of events at the LOC and the staggering support they receive from the political leadership ….What we need now is a strong and nationalistic leadership which can lead the country from the front …We have to act soon otherwise our country will be buried in the sands of failure and sufferings…for a long long time

    regards
    prateek

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