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Complacency leads to Maoist attack

The most lethal Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, in which 27 persons have been killed and 32 injured, and one in which they have chosen political leaders as their targets, demonstrates their increasing confidence. The audacious ambush came as they, seeking revenge, gunned for Mahendra Karma, a Congress leader who was a target of their anger because of his long association with the Salwa Judum, the anti-Naxalite vigilante movement which had taken a heavy toll among them. Though he had survived at least four attacks before, he has now become a victim of the Maoist’s vicious policy of reprisals, with the other high profile victim of their ambush being Vidya Charan Shukla, senior Congress leader and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh who has been critically injured. Ironically, this attack has come at a time when the Congress-led UPA, ruling at the centre, proudly proclaimed last week as one of its achievements in the decline in Maoist attacks and the deaths caused by them. In fact, though there may have been a temporary lull, there has been no let up in Maoist violence. This January the Maoists killed 10 CRPF jawans in a gun-fight with the force, while in February they triggered a landmine blast in Gaya which claimed six lives and in May they killed three policemen in an attack on the Doordarshan tower in Chhattisgarh. Meanwhile there are reports with the Intelligence Bureau that suggest that the Maoists, far for being on the run, are consolidating.

The home ministry has gone on record to say that the Maoists are now present in 20 out of the 28 states of the country and have thousands of fighters. There are reports that the Maoists have been following an expansion plan, becoming meticulously and carefully organised and strengthening their cadres by recruiting, amongst others, educated rebels to lead their cause as well as technically proficient persons. There are disturbing reports that the Maoists are now even capable of manufacturing some types of weapons while they have access to huge funds which is enabling them to get militarised. Abductions, extortions from corporations and loot of government money meant for the schemes of development are only some of their sources of funds, and they have developed links with underworld dons and foreign intelligence agencies, which supply them weapons. This attack by the Maoists is an attack on the Indian political system which they hope to overthrow by violence. Now that senior political leaders have become victims, perhaps those who control policy, will realise more of the dangers of this insurgency and will work harder to slash its roots.
MPost

MPost

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