Finally, there seems to be some forward movement
on some policies from the Federal Home Ministry
and some successes against
Andhra Pradesh with the topmost terrorist in that state killed in an encounter by the elite Greyhound Force.
Finally, there seems to be some forward movement on some policies from the
Federal Home Ministry and some successes against
with the topmost terrorist in that state killed in an encounter by the elite
Greyhound Force. Chhattisgarh the epicenter of Naxal action in India, has engaged former Punjab police Chief K.P.S. Gill to fight terror who is introducing several innovative experimental measures to fight this unconventional situation. Refreshingly, Chief Minister Raman Singh seems willing to take on new measures even if there is a risk of the experiment failing.
There appears to be three layers of measures introduced to fight the Naxals. The first layer is the arming of Salwa Judum activists that received the highest publicity but has also failed miserably. After all, most of those killed have been Salwa Judum activists. Singh justifies this layer saying “They were facing Maoists with bows and arrows” which is “suicidal” and wants “to channel these energies” into more effective measures.
The second layer is the creation of Special Police Officers (SPO) to absorb patrolling and basic law and order duties within relief camps. While this move itself may not have been completely successful, it does relieve some pressure of the police force that is vastly inadequate in numbers. While the average number of policemen in the nation is 55 per 100 square kilometer, there are only 17 in Chhattisgarh. Furthermore, the old formula of 1 sub-inspector, 2 constables, and 8 sepoys is grossly insufficient in fighting a heavily armed foe especially in remote posts.
The third layer will probably be the most effective in the future. Select
members of the police force will be sent to the Army’s jungle warfare training
facility in Mizoram
in addition to Central paramilitary forces that are better armed and trained. A
critical proposal from the state has not been yet approved by the Home Ministry
is the permission to pursue the terrorist across state borders so they feel
“cornered” needs immediate attention. This will prevent the terrorists from
assuming that they can use States that have inept administrations like
Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, the fight against Naxals must be assumed by a common authority that can manage the fight centrally by pooling police from different state, centralizing intelligence, and taking non-political decisions. Singh wryly pointed out that while “The Center has helped with police modernization and sent us additional forces...in the end inter-State coordination is necessary.” Without such coordination “we can never win.” The proposal of hot pursuit has not been cleared by the Home Ministry ostensibly because of the Rs. 200 crore
price tag but officials of
says the real reason is because of a lack of chemistry between a
Congress-governed Federal Government and a
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) run state Government. Obviously, politics is seen as the culprit that is stopping an efficient State Government from taking action on the Naxals and helping an inefficient one losing the fight.
Meanwhile, the famed Greyhound Force of AP long restrained by inept Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy, finally scored a major success in killing the senior most dreaded criminal. Burra Chinniah also known as Madhav or Mallanna was one of the 8 terrorists killed in a shootout in the Nallamalla forest areas of Prakasham district. Additionally, a “District Committee Secretary” was also killed along with 5 women, who were allegedly body guards. Other terrorists involved in the fight ran away. Chinniah carried a reward of Rs. 10 lakhs (USD 21,750) bounty for a range of crimes that included planning the assassination of a former AP Home Minister Madhav Reddy, planning an unsuccessful assassination attempt on former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, and the murder of two senior police officers.
Terrorists have been
forcing women to be participate in the movement and often used as frontline fodder of the force. It is not clear if the women who were killed were such recruits or voluntary recruits such as the wife of Chinniah.
In any case, the
Naxals have a broader agenda and a roadmap of violence a counter to which the Government seems to be seems to be formulating.