Homeland Security

Capture of India : the Maoist blueprint
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Issue Vol 25.3 Jul-Sep2010 | Date : 06 Oct , 2010

If the CRPF is to perform the lead CI Force role it will have to be radically restructured and transformed by reducing its age profile, changing its operating ethos to functioning as a Battalion (with the Commandant leading the operations) and large scale intake of former Short Service Commissioned Army officers and former Army JCOs/NCOs/men from the SF and Infantry Battalions. The CRPF must be trained by the Army as complete Units and Sub Units and not by ad hoc milking of men from a large number of units. The severe limitations of this force as presently configured, must be clearly understood by the national leadership. More massacres of the Dantewada variety will severally demoralize this force and embarrass the Indian State at the international level. Truly, transforming this force could well take upto 8 to 10 years. No miracles can be expected overnight.

Need For the Rashtriya Rifles Considering the seriousness of the threat (as clearly revealed by a study of the Maoist Strategy document) and the dangerous way in which the campaign has been under- resourced so far – it is imperative for the national leadership to understand the gravity and scale of the threat. The Red Base areas have already been established in the Chattisgarh-Dandakarnya forest region. These will have to be destroyed and this is beyond the current capability of the Police and Para Military Forces. It would be in the interest of the Indian Nation-State to urgently do the following :-

  • Employ Army Special Forces to hunt down and eliminate key Maoist leaders and launch heliborne operations to destroy key Maoist companies/platoons of the PLGA in the Dandakaranya region.
  • Raise up to six additional RR Divisions to secure these Base Areas on a long term basis.
  • In addition employ up to two Army Divisions (preferably those being raised for use against China) for major counter offensives in the critical eight districts of Chattisgarh-Dandkaranya to break the Maoist momentum and cause serious attrition on the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army.
  • There is simply no getting away from the scale and scope of the counter effort required. India is bearing the consequences of a major youth bulge in its population. Raising 6 to 8 additional Army Divisions will help generate much needed employment. A large proportion of this recruitment must be done from the tribal areas. It will automatically lead to the upward social mobility of the tribals. Dr Ambedkar incidentally was the son of a Subedar Major of the Army’s Mahar Regiment.
  • We will rapidly need to raise forces that are structured and ready for the fight. It will be a futile effort to just raise additional CRPF and then spend 8 to 10 years to restructure and transform them. We urgently need Forces in being. We have underestimated and underresourced our anti Maoist campaign for far too long. Any further drift would be positively dangerous for the country.

The Indian Military must clearly comprehend the Maoist threat. It seeks to smash the Indian State and its Armed Forces by a protracted Peoples War in which it will ally with the terrorists/jehadists in J&K and the insurgents in the North East. Romancing the Maoists should strictly be left to novelists and writers of fiction like Arundhati Roy. We can not afford to lose touch with ground realities. A country must clearly determine the kind of conflicts and wars it will be called upon to fight. The Maoist military challenge is a reality in the ‘here and now’. We can ill afford to wish it away and hope to focus purely on external wars that we may never get to fight. The State could by default lose the looming civil war inside. The Maoists are clearly planning to exploit the situation to the hilt if a war occurs with our neighbours. We can not afford to wait for that dire contingency. The Maoist menace must be tackled well before the situation deteriorates to that stage.

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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

Maj Gen GD Bakshi, (Retd)

is a war Veteran and Strategic Analyst.

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