Issue Net Edition | Date : 23 Apr , 2014
Any debate about handling the Maoist insurgency finally boils down to whether it is or isn’t a ‘Law and Order’ problem and whether it should or should not be handled by the Centre or the State. The debate has been ongoing for many years despite the Prime Minister periodically describing it as the biggest internal threat to the security of the country. And so it went at a recent confabulation at a premier training institution in the Capital. The culminating panel discussion indicated that we appear to be going in the right direction, IPS panelists focused on marvelous achievements especially in targeting prominent leadership of the Maoists, with some panelists even prophecying that the problem would over in 2-3 years provided some ‘ifs’ get addressed, which was reminiscent of Chidambaram as Home Minister declaring in year 2010 that the Maoists insurgency would be over in 2-3 years.
Large Maoist movement was reported before polls in Chhatisgarh, 16 people were killed in Bastar, Ranjangaon and Kanker in pre-poll violence.
Before the Lok Sabha elections, the Maoists reportedly offered conditional truce, the conditions being: one, accept the Maoist movement as political; two, stop attacks on leaders and activists; three, book and punish “killers” of Azad who was negotiating framework for peace in 2010; four, stop CAPF and Police “aggression” against people in rural areas under partial control of Maoists; and, five, in order to preserve Maoist leadership from conspiracies of the ruling classes one more time in the name of talks, release all veteran comrades in prisons. The conditional truce offer was hailed as clear success by the government assessing that at the operational level, the Maoists are facing the heat with many politburo and central committee members behind bars or eliminated and saturation of the area of influence by security forces denying space for insurgent movement. More intelligent interpretation of the truce offer was that this possibly was a bid to shape the discourse with the new government that would take shape after the elections.