The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel, recently announced that the State government are ready for peace talks with the Maoists provided they laid down arms and expressed their faith in the Constitution of India.
Concerns raised by Maoist:
- Demand to create a conducive atmosphere in which to hold peace talks.
- The Maoist criticized the State government for not implementing the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA in Chhattisgarh.
- Demand for the lifting of the ban on their party, the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) and people’s organisations.
- The government should adhere to the Constitution and end the illegal murders in the name of encounters, tortures and arrests.
- The withdrawal of security forces from the Maoist camps.
- Also, the release of jailed Maoist leaders to participate in the talks.
Origin of Naxalism in India:
- The term “Naxalites” comes from Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal where a section of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) led by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal, and Jangal Santhal initiated a violent uprising in 1967.
- Chinese communist ideologue and leader Mao Zedong provided ideological leadership for the Naxalbari movement, advocating that Indian peasants and lower class tribals overthrow the government and upper classes by force.
- The objective of their fight was a redistribution of land to working peasants, which was controlled by landlords for generations.
Cause of Naxalism:
- Massive displacement of tribal population in the naxalism-affected states due to development projects, mining operations and other reasons.
- Absence of strong technical intelligence to fight with Naxalites.
- Even after the police take hold of a region, the administration fails to provide essential services to the people of that region.
- State governments considered Naxalism as the central government’s issue and thus are not taking any initiatives to fight it.
Steps taken by the Government
- Operation Green Hunt: It was started in 2010 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas.
- From 223 districts that were affected due to naxalism in the year 2010, the number has come down to 90 in nine years.
- The government even started ‘Relief and Rehabilitation Policy’ for bringing naxalites into mainstream.
- Aspirational Districts Programme: Launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
Dialogues between the Naxal leaders, and the government officials can be a way work out a solution.
The government should initiate sincere dialogue with Naxalites.
mining grounds, irrigation areas, industries, etc., in the area without any provision for the resettlement of the displaced people has only added to the woes of the poor
There needs to be more emphasis on rehabilitation of these affected population
Weaker sections of the society, the schedule castes and schedule tribes still face discrimination from the upper class. These downtrodden sections don’t enjoy equal participation in casting and contesting politically, making them soft targets of Naxals.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) is being implemented in 330 districts affected by Naxalism so as to universalize the demand-driven programme for wage-employment.
Central government must inroads into these disturbed states with their agencies well-equipped with modern artillery and assist the usually poorly-equipped agencies of the state.
Local Police knows the language and topography of a region; it can fight naxalism better than the armed forces.
Andhra Police rose ‘Greyhounds’; special forces to deal with naxalism in the state.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 has been amended to strengthen the punitive measures.
Sanctioning of new Specialized India Reserve Battalions (SIRB).
The government of Chhattisgarh started the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker imparts training to counter the well trained and motivated guerrilla force of the Naxals, where police personnel are given rigorous training in guerrilla warfare and are made to live in the open and taught how to live off the land.
Apart from plugging all the above mentioned loopholes in the present strategy of fighting naxalism in India, this needs to be recognised by the civil society and the media to build pressure on the Left Wing Extremists to eschew violence, join the mainstream and recognise the fact that the socio-economic and political dynamics and aspirations of 21st Century India are far removed from the Maoist world-view.
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