Editorial: Eliminating Scourge Of Maoists

Editorial: Eliminating Scourge Of Maoists

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 09:51 PM IST
article-image
Representational Image | File

Whether the proximity of the polling in the region encouraged the Maoists to drop their guard and try and disrupt the democratic process, or the security forces had augmented their positions with additional personnel, or it is a combination of both these factors, the death of 29 Maoists in Bastar in an encounter last Tuesday is bound to come as relief to voters. Bastar is due to go to the polls on April 19. Maoists are known to severely penalise the people in the area who defy the poll-boycott call. In some cases, they also dictate as to whom to vote. The gun battle in Kanker district of Bastar division of Chhattisgarh is said to have taken place in a dense forest between the Maoists and the security forces. The authorities claimed that this was the highest number of Maoists’ deaths in a single operation. Acting on a tip-off the Border Security Forces and a contingent of the District Reserve Guards was tasked to comb the forest area when the BSF troops were fired upon by the CPI (Maoists) guerrillas. The BSF returned fire. In the ensuing encounter 29 Naxals were killed while three BSF personnel were injured. Among the dead were at least three senior Maoists. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who only three days earlier at a campaign rally in Chhattisgarh had assured the people of wiping out the scourge of Naxalism from the State, congratulated the security forces for a successful operation. In a statement he described Naxalism as “the biggest enemy of development, peace and the bright future of the youth”. The Maoists were now confined to a small area in Chhattisgarh and the Union Home Minister said soon they too would be uprooted from there. Since the return of the BJP to power the anti-Naxal operations have been vastly stepped up. The Maoists had a free run in the area where on Tuesday they were gunned down in their hitherto impenetrable hideout. The heightened security operations have also led to the Maoists indulging in targeted killings in recent weeks. Nine BJP members and two security personnel were hacked to death by the Maoists earlier this year, with some of them suspected of being police informers. The State government extended the olive branch to the outlaws, asking them to shed their arms and negotiate peace. However, they insisted on the withdrawal of the security forces from the area as a condition to start negotiations, something unacceptable to the BJP government in Raipur. It seems that the hardened approach of the authorities would in the coming weeks and months is set to witness a concerted operation to comb the entire nearly 4,000 sq km of dense forests to flush out the outlaws. The Maoists have exploited the difficult terrain, lack of communications and absence of even dirt tracks to carry on their hit-and-run operations from this sanctuary where hitherto even the security forces were afraid to step in. That situation of free-pass for the Naxals is bound to change soon under a BJP government at the Centre and in the State. In a democratic system taking up arms even in the name of welfare of the downtrodden is impermissible. Besides, the Maoists have no magic wand to remove poverty.

RECENT STORIES

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Result On June 4 To Decide BJP-JDU Alliance's Fate

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Result On June 4 To Decide BJP-JDU Alliance's Fate

UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Modi's Win Margin In Focus Now

UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Modi's Win Margin In Focus Now

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Misa Locked In Keen Contest With Old Foe

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Misa Locked In Keen Contest With Old Foe

Rising Temperatures, Greater Risks To The Food In Your Thaali

Rising Temperatures, Greater Risks To The Food In Your Thaali

The Growing Irrelevance Of Mayawati And Her Party

The Growing Irrelevance Of Mayawati And Her Party