The recent Naxal attack in Bihar is a disturbing reminder of an array of issues which the country is yet to come to grips with. The series of violent activities by the Maoists in Bihar suggest that naxalism has entered a new phase and security agencies are in a state of shock. Attacks on important government buildings, telephone exchange, railway stations, villages and police pickets have become quite common. In some areas where there was a lull for long, a recurrence of naxalite activity has disturbed the peaceful ambience. .The main purpose behind these activities is to induce fear in the minds of police and administration.
During the last few years or so, the simmering rural unrest has continued to find its outlet in the form of violence in states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh.
A few years ago the landmine explosion in Sheohar district of Bihar killing four special Auxiliary Police personnel and a Police Inspector just three days before Bihar approached the second phase of Poll in past was a matter of grave security concern for Indian state. The repeated ruthless attacks despite the recent warning of Prime Minister shows the level of audacity among the present breed of naxals. It has become clear that now it is difficult to persuade these bands of distraught people to change their mind by reason, or honour or by threat. The major question that arises is how to nip in the bud these evil genius who are taking the entire country into the path of destruction.
Blowing up of school building, butchering police personnel in hidden warfare, gunning down of coal mine officials, torching trucks used to be dramatic scenes in movies of 70’s that are haunting the post modern India. During the last few years or so, the simmering rural unrest has continued to find its outlet in the form of violence in states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh. The recent incidents of naxal violence suggest that most of the targets are selected in the hope that the people would change their opinion about the potency of the government’s authority. The naxalites also plan their attack in such a way that people see in them the justification and fulfillment of a cause leading to a just order according to their own perception of justice. This, they hope, will ultimately lead to overthrowing of a particular order. Thus, they are attempting to inspire and manipulate fear to achieve a variety of purposes.
Attacks on important government buildings, telephone exchange, railway stations, villages and police pickets have become quite common. In some areas where there was a lull for long , a recurrence of naxalite activity has disturbed the peaceful ambience. On the other hand, in Bihar, there are various such extremist organisations operating, including the Indian People’s Front, the MKSS (Mazdoor Kisan Sangram Samiti) and the Maoist Communist Centre. There have been a number of attacks on police pickets by them. In some areas of Central Bihar their underground operations are on the rise. These organisations raise funds by means of extortion from contractor, securing small contacts, subscription from corrupt officials and powerful landlords. Although it is difficult to know the actual strength of these groups, the Maoist Communist Centre is considered to be the most organised with sophisticated weapons.
Over the years the years, the government of Andhra Pradesh has suffered a heavy loss of public and private property because of the upsurge in naxalite activities.
A few years ago, the massacre of 11 people near Dodadih Hills in Bihar by the MCC almost turned basic issue into caste- war like situation. There have been numerous instances of such gruesome acts by the MCC. The group is very active in Central Bihar districts such as Patna, Jehanabad, Gaya, Nalanda and Navada. In Jehanabad areas, the mobilisation of weaker section by the IPF and the MKSS has been mainly on the basis of a common concern for equitable distribution of land and payment of minimum wages, among other things. The MCC has been responsible for the Darmiam, Dalelchak Baghora, Bakridh and Bara incidents. After the Dalelchak Baghora ( Aurangabad ) massacre, the state government declared a ban on the activities of the MCC.
Over the years the years, the government of Andhra Pradesh has suffered a heavy loss of public and private property because of the upsurge in naxalite activities. In the last two decades the People’s War Group has made several attempts to emphasise its rights. Dissatisfied with government policies, it has lashed out violently and continues its activities which include bank robberies, murder of policemen, kidnapping of businessmen and officials and political assassination attempts.
Despite the repeated attempts of state and central government to control the menace the problem of naxalism is still growing due to:
- Improper implementation of the Minimum Wages Act and non-payment of minimum wages fixed by the government for rural labourers,
- Lack of development programmes,
- Illegal occupation of uncultivated public land by landlords,
- Lack of irrigation facilities for rural poor mostly belonging to the Scheduled Castes,
- Denial of political rights to rural poor,
- Nexus between landowners and the police and
- Tussle over political domination.
The formation of COBRA specially designed to fight naxalism is a proactive step by the government of India.
Widespread unemployment, underdevelopment, poverty, the continuing feudal order and growing corruption among politicians and bureaucrats combined with socio-political and economic disparities among the upper, middle and Scheduled Castes are factors mainly responsible for naxal violence. The formation of COBRA specially designed to fight naxalism is a proactive step by the government of India. But this alone cannot yield prompt results unless we bring about coordination between intelligence and local police. Therefore, it is high time we modified our information gathering exercise and involve a multidimensional mechanism including the support of media to dilute the sympathetic attitude of people towards the naxals.
The meek nature of people at large has frustrated efforts by security forces to identify a naxalite immediately. In this regard, there is an urgent need to re-establish faith among the masses in the capability of the Government to protect them. For a permanent solution it is not sufficient to think about some policy changes in the attitude of the government towards the rural poor: the entire society should make substantial efforts at removing the disadvantages of the poor and maintaining the social equilibrium.