Ramping security or bRamping security or building trust, how best to tame India’s Maoists?uilding trust, how best to tame India’s Maoists?

By Asian Age

The audacious ambush by Naxals in the Bijapur badlands of the Chhattisgarh state, killing 22 Special Forces policemen and injuring 30 others on April 3, 2021, brought forth the discomforting reality of India’s inadequate preparedness in dealing with its most serious internal security affliction, namely, the Naxal-Maoist challenge.

That these avoidable casualties are attributed to an operation which was mounted by our own forces to nab the charismatic young Naxal leader, Madvi Hidma, in the Tekulguda region of Bastar — a hotbed of Naxal activities since decades — makes this tragic incident all the more embarrassing for those who conceived and mounted it.

The video released by the Naxals, of the release ceremony of police commando, Rakeshwar Singh Minhas, captured by them in this botched-up police operation with a large turnout of cheering local villagers should warn the Indian state to streamline its strategy to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE) — the generic and official name for the Naxal-Maoist insurgency.

Though some in the security establishment have felt that over the years the Maoist-Naxal threat has reduced considerably with the “Red Corridor” shrinking gradually, the official statistics of India’s ministry of home affairs do not convey the same improvement in the internal security operations to counter LWE.

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