Where security is subservient to seat-sharing

Is the Indian government serious about national security at all?

The Acorn could not have put this any better.

Back to the Bhindranwale era of terror: the govt’s silence when Naxals kill is deafening
Consider this: last week, six policemen — including K.C. Surendra Babu, the SP of Munger district — were killed in a landmine blast triggered by the CPI (Maoist). A statement from the underground emerged thereafter: Babu deserved his death. When is the last time you heard terrorists brag like that? Cannot be since A.S. Atwal, then a DIG, was killed outside the Golden Temple at the height of Bhindranwale’s terror campaign. And how do you think New Delhi responded to this perfidious attempt to defy its authority? With complete silence. Manmohan Singh’s government may have its compulsions for not wanting to draw attention to the total breakdown of law and order in Laloo Prasad Yadav’s state before an important election, but as custodian of India’s interests, its surrender to the will of the Naxal terror machine signals its own patent lack of will to fight it.

This has only encouraged the malignant growth of these forces. The much talked about Naxal corridor between Nepal and Nellore is no fantasy. Every day brings fresh evidence of the growing clout of this faceless army of extortionists, blackmailers and assassins, whether in Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh, we even had the spectacle of a Congress state government sitting down to sup with these very forces. Ramakrishna, who led the Naxalites in the talks, could not be more bald: “Holding talks is just a part of our strategy. The ultimate goal is armed struggle,” he observed famously.

The impression is gaining ground that Congress governments, whether at the state or Centre, are soft on Naxalites because they have gained politically from them.

Meanwhile, the danger Naxalites pose to the Indian state is getting more palpable. The recent merger of the People’s War and the Maoist Coordination Committee of India in the new outfit that goes by the name of CPI (Maoist) reveals more than the mere accretion of numbers, it indicates that these forces are working to a definite plan. Given this, given the fact that Naxal cadres operate in some of the most inaccessible regions of the country, they represent a very live challenge to the authority and sovereignty of the Indian state. The UPA government can shut its eyes to this growing footprint only at its — and the nation’s — peril.[IE]

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