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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Maoist threat to SEZs

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described Maoists as "the biggest internal security challenge."

There are high-level coordination committees at the Central and State levels to constantly review and fine-tune counter strategies but left-wing extremism, which has spread across 15 States, now threatens to turn the special economic zones (SEZs) concept into a new conflict ground and potential agenda for its cadres. Inputs with internal security experts suggest that displacement of the local population, especially tribals, has been viewed by the Maoists as "conditions suiting the promotion of their revolutionary ideology."

Security forces, particularly the Central Paramilitary Forces, are also aware that the Maoist threat needs to be tackled not only by policing but also from economic and cultural perspectives.

The central forces and special forces such as the National Security Guard, endowed with cutting edge of technology and highly-trained manpower, feel the need for a pro-active approach and greater inter-State and inter-agency cooperation.

Key tools

Strategic analysis, update and constant review are some of the tools, which Central forces need to adopt quickly, experts say. The fight against Maoists is a widely encompassing one and has to be different from area to area.

R. Jaya Kumar of the Internal Security Academy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) says last year's trend of left-wing extremism saw the continuation of the "Encirclement to Strangulation" campaigns in the form of the Jehanabad jail-break. Recoveries in Bhopal, Nagpur and Rourkela indicated the Maoist network's penetration in cities.

Rocket seizures in Andhra Pradesh pointed to their modern armoury and arsenal ambitions. Maoist cadres have also used a new modus operandi in landmine attacks through the use of flashgun in conjunction with radio trans-receiver and made efforts to use mobile phones in conjunction with micro-controlled, IC-based circuits.

The time has come for the CRPF, which contributes considerable strength of its manpower in eight States to tackle the naxalite menace, to ask itself whether the force is part of a meaningful game plan, whether it undertakes constant review of ground realities and whether it has achieved a high degree of synergy with the local police.

According to Mr. Jaya Kumar, policing in naxalite-affected areas must ensure basic instruments of governance. "For example, ensuring the public distribution system, medical care, veterinary facilities and other minor development works can be a few starters. The mere security dimensional role of the CRPF needs revaluation," he says. The key question is whether the civil action programme is oriented to address the grievances of the local population.

Reach out to people

Realising that the arc of left-wing extremism stretches across the country's heartland and its hold on the underprivileged continues to grow in several parts, security experts favour reaching out the instruments of governance to the afflicted areas so that the people there start believing in the government. There is concern at the intelligence failure on the part of the local establishment leading to Maoist attacks in Koraput, Madhuban, Giridih, Jehanabad, and more recently in Bastar and other places in Chhattisgarh.

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    posted by Resistance 6/17/2007 06:34:00 PM,


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