H C Singh

DANTEWADA MASSACRE – ITS IMPLICATIONS

On April 6, 2010 it is confirmed that 76 security personnel almost all of them belonging to CRPF were killed by “Maoists” in Dantewada jungle area as the unfortunate victims were like sitting ducks as they were asleep at the time of their onslaught. They never dreamt that in this adivasi populated area of Chhattisgarh they would be killed without even firing or killing any of the attackers, whether Maoists or other enemies. No reinforcement was sent for their help and to repulse their attackers though it was the deadliest attack. Even after the attack Maoists blew up with the landmine a military truck that was sent to rescue the survivors and injured. After the Maoists had blown up Army rescue truck, they captured huge Cache of arms and ammunition from the dead soldiers which included 76 rifles, besides some number of machineguns and lot of ammunition. Air force planes were not sent to provide air cover because so far it was not permissible to use air force against Indian citizens even if they are insurgents or Maoists. Similarly, army was not sent.

Questions arise as to why the Maoists are so cruel as to kill unarmed civilians and encircle CRPF and police personnel with land mines hand grenades and automatic rifles and machineguns? The other question of relevance is how such a situation can be prevented in future on immediate and long term basis?

There has been heated debate in both Houses of Parliament when Home Minister PC Chidambran who had earlier submitted his resignation accepting the responsibility for Dantewada attack and killing by Maoists of 76 security personnel. However PM did not accept HM’s resignation. Thus on 15th April he read a statement which caused unrest because copies of his statement were not simultaneously made available to all the MP’s and also Hindi version. Infact, no MP particularly of the opposition bothered to listen as to what Chidambran was reading from a printed copy that, too, in English which almost half the MPs did not understand.

It must be said that since Independence no PM or the government had time to think of the problem of Adivasis living in jungles of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Instead their ‘Roti and Rozi’ means of livelihood were snatched as many parts of their inhabited jungles and hills were acquired without giving them alternate means of livelihood, what to speak of compensation. Some areas of Adivasis were rich in minerals and these, too, were taken away. Rendering thousands of Adivasis families homeless and starving. That is how and why they became easy recruits or preys for so called Maoists leaders like Kishanji. There are number of Maoists with Kishanji alias. The original was Bose who is now above 80 years and the present Kishanji’s real name is Kateshwar Rao. These adivasi villagers took up arms without much bothering about consequences even to them and their families.

There was no insurgency (now known as Maoist Problem) in these adivasi areas prior to independence. Both the Muslims who ruled over India, Hindustan, for about 700 years and British who ruled for more than 200 years did not disturb or encroach upon their areas and as a result they lived peacefully in their own tribal ways without imitating or bothering about better way of living. Even people of North Eastern States were not disturbed, in the way they administered their areas. As such there was no problem of Nagaland etc prior to Independence.

Now about the solution of this acute national problem. Sometimes back it was decided by government of India to give employment to all those Maoists who laid down their arms. But this solution obviously did not work. The long term solution appears to be, to an extent, the solution of Maoist insurgency worked out in Nepal, where, too, the fight between Nepalese Army and Maoists had gone on for decades. Now there is peace and no fighting at all. India is a big country unlike Nepal and the area in contral of India’s Maoist is quite large. As the earlier solution did not work because there were no negotiations between Indian leaders and Maoist leaders.

For permanent peace and development, it seems essential that there should be unconditional negotiations between government of India’s representatives and Maoist leaders, offering all the adivasi full equality with Indian citizens, free education by establishing many schools in Adivasi area, their right to vote, their employment facilities by setting up small industries employing most of Advani’s, and providing them houses in their original areas as far as possible and elsewhere in the tribal land. It may be essential to create a separate state for Adivasis of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh with separate legislature separate high court. This will provide employment to many besides MLA’s and Ministers of their own to sort out their difficulties and grievances.

It is hoped that if such negotiations start with open mind and declared objective these will succeed and peace and harmony in Adivasi, as in Nepal and Nagaland, would be there for all times to come.

On part of Maoists, their leaders, too, must realize the futility of armed insurgencies by them on Indian Security Forces. Both Indian government representations and Maoist leaders, after successful negotiations should sign an agreement for peace and harmony just as it was signed with Naga leaders which ended prolonged hostilities. However until Maoist stop their insurgency, Indian Security Forces must be careful and really well equipped well trained to reply with more than equal force, so that there is not at all any repetition of Dantewada massacre.

April 22, 2010 - Posted by | India, Political Commentary, Terrorism | , , , , , , , ,

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