The worst ever attack by about 300 Naxal-Maoists in the jungles of Chattisgarh’s Dantewada distrct on 06 April 2010, turned out to be a massacre of 75 personnel of 62 CRPF (Central Resrve Police Force), including a deputy and an assistant commandant. While the 76th fatal casualty was the sole constable of Chattisgarh Police, accompanying this detachment , 50 others were wounded. Former Director General, Border Security Force, Mr. E N Rammohan, who was appointed by Home Ministry to hold an independent enquiry into that attack, submitted a detailed report after doing so.
Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh classifying Naxal-Maoist terrorism as the worst threat, Supreme Court’s directive for implementation of Police Reforms, Home Ministry’s initiatives and Naxals’ linkages with other terrorist groups, including those under the influence of Pakistan’ Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the states worst affected by Naxal violence are not taking all the necessary counter-measures. The exposure of certain facts following an earlier deadly attack on East Frontier Rifles (EFR) at Silda in Wet Bengal, attempts to transfer the official who exposed former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda’s mega-scam, the way Naxals could hijack a whole railway train and the worst ever attack in Dantewada are classic examples of how twisted politics, corruption, non implementation of police reforms, including drastically sprucing up its training, are proving to be great liabilities for security in States worst affected by Naxal terror.
The massacre of 24 personnel of EFR was also yet another reminder of the glaring deficiencies and drawbacks in policing, particularly the way police forces are being used, how they are being treated and utter lack or absence of training in the light of the threats they are meant to tackle. The Naxal/Maoist insurgency is certainly not new; it is a movement which grew and spread over decades. Nothing has been done to deal with the already identified causes or factors after so many years; the insurgents kept getting better armed and trained, graduating from young tribals to seasoned terrorists with sophisticated arms and equipment. Leave alone Supreme Court’s direction to implement police reforms – state police forces are still woefully inadequate in number, training, conditioning, and arms and equipment.
The Silda and Dantewada attacks highlighted the disturbingly wide gap between the planning and aggressiveness of the attackers and the weaknesses and disadvantages of the policemen. Over a hundred Naxals, including women cadres, came in white Ambassador cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. One of the EFR survivors, who somehow managed to escape to a nearby forest, said that they were caught unaware when the Naxals stormed their camp (housing about 50 men), set it on fire with kerosene and then started firing from their weapons. They also made away with about 40 odd weapons from the EFR camp. EFR’s composition is 100% Gorkhas, who are adept in the use of the traditional khukri, the deadly inward-curved sharp end machete. Yet they became sitting ducks. Lt. Gen. V. K. Ahluwalia, the author of Red Revolution 2020…, who retired as GOC-in-C, Central Command, was as such ideally placed to study in depth and analyse what is officially termed as Left Wing Extremism (LWE), the Naxal- Maoist movement and its tactics of terrorism. He explains how the Communist Party of India (Maoist) affirms its ideology in its document, “Party Programme” and its commitment to “protracted armed struggle” to undermine and to seize power from the state. Two important documents of the Maoist called the “The Party Programme” and “Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Revolution” are important milestones in the manifestation of clear-cut goals of the group. It also resulted in the formation of the PGA or the Peoples Guerrilla Army in 2000. The ultimate aim is the establishment of a Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ) stretching from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh and beyond.