Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lalgarh operation - security forces seemingly successful

There are several sections of India that are semi-controlled by the Red Army, by the Naxalites. When I mean semi-controlled, it essentially means that they are regions where Naxalites and Maoists can move around without much fear of being encountered by security forces, and where they can in turn strike at state presence such as Government officers and police stations. Lalgarh is one such region, located in Bengal that seems to be in the control of ultra-left forces (need to make the distinction, since West Bengal is actually ruled by a Left / Communist party which is the enemy of the ultra-left forces).
Many states have declared the Maoists as an illegal force, with West Bengal being a notable exception (maybe because it would be hard for a Communist party to justify calling another Communist leaning organization as illegal). However, it really cannot continue to have a condition where a region of the state is a no-go zone for arms of the State. If they let such a situation continue, the CPM sets itself up to be a target of media all over the country, they let a situation fester where the Maoists have time to consolidate and again target other CPM regions, they are under pressure from the Center to take some action, and so on. So, finally, the combined forces of the state police, specialized force called COBRA, and the para-military forces seem to be having success in their operation to the extent that the Maoists leaders are willing to talk peace now (link to article):

Maoist leader Koteswar Rao said on Saturday the West Bengal Government should stop the police operation in Lalgarh and hold talks with the people to find a solution to their problems. "If the Left Front government wants to have discussion with the people of Lalgarh, the operation by the police and security forces against them should end by this afternoon," Rao, a politburo member of the CPI(Maoist), told a TV channel.
Referring to the ongoing joint operation by the state police and the para-military forces, he advised the Left Front government "not to dance to the tune of the Prime Minister or the Union Home Minister".

No matter what the timing of making this security operation a success really is, the fact remains that in their hearts, the governments of most states infested by ultra-left violence know what the basic problems are - not enough welfare, abject poverty and exploitation (especially of tribals), wide-spread corruption among the government apparatus, no real security and law and order, and numerous other reasons that give a lot of support base to the ultra-left forces (most of whom are people with a similar background to these oppressed folks). Governments however do very little to address these concerns and actually provide development support (and in fact accept that there is a huge amount of siphoning of development money through the government apparatus).
As long as Governments are not able to make the necessary development steps and show their success in doing so, they will be unable to stop these Naxalite forces. That would be a real show since these ultra-left forces do not really have a credible plan to increase development, and instead believe in a class struggle that only turns the poorer classes into canon fodder (remember the other struggler, Prabhakaran who killed so many of his fellow Tamils but did nothing concrete to better the lot of his people).

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:40 AM