Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Another alert

Another alert

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: May 23, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/another-alert/464751/0

Introduction: Among the Union home Minister's first tasks must be a long overdue focus on Naxal violence

It is a story so repetitive, that you may have missed it in the newspapers. "Naxals ambush and kill policemen in a remote district." What, you ask, is new? Well, what's new is how immune we've grown to this horror story; worse, how immune the government has grown. What was also new about the ambush and slaughter of 16 cops by Naxals in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district on Thursday was that so many were killed, that five of those were women, and that it was so soon after the general elections. Rattled, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan cancelled a trip to, where else, New Delhi, to visit a part of his state long ignored by Mumbai.

The general elections, otherwise peaceful, saw sustained violence by Naxalites, who killed civilian officials overseeing elections and security personnel protecting them. As this newspaper urged, that in itself was a wake-up call to the new government to focus on a long-neglected threat. For the previous UPA government, typified by the incompetent Shivraj Patil, adopted a wishy-washy approach, preferring the slow attrition of five cops here, 10 jawans there, to decisive action. Though many states - Orissa and Maharashtra amongst them - took the cue and turned an almost blind eye, some states were different, among them Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Andhra, in fact, redeemed itself after the 2004 decision to let off Naxal leaders encircled in its northern forests, by ruthlessly taking them on thereafter. Carefully nurtured local intelligence units and a dedicated anti-Naxal force (Greyhounds) have successfully curbed the Naxal writ running over parts of Andhra. The state, in fact, offers a blueprint for the Centre to consider.

The previous UPA long ignored an insurgency raging in the heart of India, bleeding us of our security personnel, sapping us of our will to govern. P. Chidambaram, in his few days as home minister, showed energy and intuition in taking terrorism seriously. Let us hope that the new incumbent shows similar energy in dealing with the red menace and now proceeds to chart and implement a strategy coordinated amongst Naxalite violence affected states, a responsibility that Patil so vocally resisted.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements