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It’s no more guerrilla war: DGP
Man Mohan
Our Roving Editor

New Delhi, May 17
The Naxal attack on a bus carrying tribal “Special Police Officers” (SPOs) in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district has stunned the security agencies here. It has come in quick succession of two major incidents of “red rebels” in the state.

The previous major attack took place on May 8, when eight jawans of the CRPF were killed when the Maoists blew up a bulletproof vehicle in the Bijapur district. And on April 6, the whole nation was shocked, when the Naxals ambushed and massacred 75 CRPF men and a lone trooper of the Chhattisgarh Police in Dantewada district.

Today’s incident shows that improvised explosive devices were planted some days ago and were triggered by the Naxals armed with real-time intelligence that SPOs were travelling in the civilian bus.

“The point to note is that the Naxals have graduated from guerrilla stage to military stage of war and have changed their tactics and strategies. The Dantewada incidents are military-style operations. So, the security forces also have to change their strategy to be in military-combat position,” Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan told The Tribune over telephone.

“Chhattisgarh now finds itself in the same situation as Andhra Pradesh was some 20 years ago,” says former IPS officer C Anjaneya Reddy. He says Chhattisgarh must learn from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Extremism was recognised in Andhra Pradesh right from the beginning, both as a law and order and socio-economic problem.

By 1992, a dozen politicians, including an ex-minister, were killed. There were also scores of abductions and extortions. At that stage everyone woke up to the need for a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem and the end was achieved.

“The role of the paramilitary forces should be limited to guarding the police stations and carrying out field operations. But, ultimately, it is the local police that can and should fight the Maoists,” says Reddy commenting that “with the example of Andhra Pradesh before them, it won’t take Chhattisgarh more than five or six years to restore peace.

But that requires a motivated police force, a bureaucracy committed to the cause of development and, above all, a mature political leadership, he says.





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