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Raj Kumar Makkad (Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh)     04 July 2010

Dont treat the life of defence personnel so cheap

It is time to go about shaping and refining the anti-Naxalite strategy without breast-beating or fanfare. And certainly we can do without the loud, controversial and unproductive debate on the deployment of the Army and the Air Force which has been made edgy on account of political one-upmanship engaged in by those who place a premium on flag-waving and call themselves "strong". Last Tuesday's attack by the Naxalites on a CRPF party in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, which killed 27 jawans, was tragedy piled upon tragedy. In early April, 76 CRPF men had been ambushed and slain by Maoists in Dantewada district in the same state. In the intervening period, a group of eight of the same Central police force were blown up in their jeep, also in Narayanpur. The sequence of events — each being similar in nature, relating to assaults on road opening parties or attacks in the process of area domination — suggests that procedures followed by the security forces may suffer from weaknesses. Alternatively, the procedures are not being implemented according to the rules of jungle warfare.

It is for professionals to do a meaningful critique of the conduct of the CRPF combat units in hostile terrain where the road network is pitiful, communications difficult, and the area bigger than a couple of European countries taken together. Instead, the bogey of lack of coordination between the state police and the CRPF is being raised. This is a pity. The irresponsible innuendo can only do disservice to the leaderships of both forces, and demoralise the men under their command. It must also be taken into account that a succession of Maoist attacks has taken place in other states too. Of late, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been in the news on this account. Of course, it needs to be analysed why greater losses are being sustained by a Central paramilitary force (CPMF) in Chhattisgarh as compared to other Maoist-infested states, where the local state police appear to be taking more hits, relatively speaking. Does this point to particular territorial or administrative features of Chhattisgarh, or of Naxalite military dispositions in that state? Instead of looking at such specifics, which might have a bearing on the efficiency of the security forces in the future, we seem to have developed the special faculty of converting every operational setback into a political discussion. Such an approach can only comfort the elements the dedicated jawans are fighting in difficult circumstances.

There appears to be some thinking in the government that the deployment of CRPF units needs to change as it is based on threat assessments for different locations made five or six years ago. This is understandable. Men should be sent where they are most needed. However, this matter does not appear to be connected with the issue of high-profile Maoist attacks on our forces when they are engaged in routine operations such as road-widening or area domination to keep the insurgents at bay. It is important that we ask the right questions and not be diverted by esoteric discussions, such as the one concerning sending of the Army at least in non-combat roles. It also appears to be the case that the changing nature of Maoist tactics over the years, and the greater sophistication of the military equipment they have managed to procure through clandestine channels, need to be factored in as a part of the training and drill the counter-insurgency units are put through. It is better training, innovations in methods to counter the insurgents, better equipment, more advanced terrain-related tactics, and an upgrade of the intelligence apparatus which are needed to deal with the Naxalites. Let's focus on these with due diligence and not be carried away by arcane meanderings.



 2 Replies

Baskaran Kanakasabai (entrepreneur)     04 July 2010

I am feeling good to learn that at least there are people like you in this country to take note of various activities of the government and day-to-day events and post objective criticism and suggest good solution or action.

I wish that the day is not far when internet users will have the right to vote online and elect any citizen of their choice to be a member of the parliament or  palnning commission or panel of advisors to the government or such responsible positions 

Our country will be many times more productive, peaceful and well-governed if people of your nature and knowledge are elvated to positions of power and decision-making.

Good going Sir, pl. keep it up!

G. ARAVINTHAN (Legal Consultant / Solicitor)     05 July 2010

In India We are not respecting lives of Defense personnels

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