The latest massacre gives the lie to any pretensions that Maoists play by some set of “rules”. The target was a private bus; the majority of those murdered: civilians. The killings also add urgency to the home minister’s request for a “wider mandate” from the Cabinet Committee on Security. The phrase has been widely interpreted to be the use of airpower. But that isn’t the point: the use of aerial backup should ideally be a tactical question, to be decided by commanders on the ground. Instead, it has degenerated into a farcical debate on an abstract principle.
There never seems to be any discussion on the effect that the addition of air power, or any other particular policy or action, would likely have on the situation beyond "it would make things better" or "it would make things worse".
Isn't there some old saying about 'power corrupting' ...Kanu Sanyal the father of Naxalism just before his death observed with great disappointment that the cult of violence and mindless killing of innocent people including elders, women and children being pursued by today's generation of Naxals was never in his scheme of things and it is entirely different from his vision and mission. Kanu Sanyal is no more to bring the Naxals on to the right path who have left miles and miles behind the real Naxal ideology. Initially the objective of Naxalism in Bastar forests also was to protect and fight for the rights and privileges of the tribals, securing their due, protecting them from exploitation by the administration and government. But in due course of time they found that their mission has not only earned the confidence of the villagers but has also enabled them to collect sufficient money power, arms and ammunition and to run a parallel government. They are now dreaming of State authority and aspiring for political power--not through democracy but through violence and intimidation. They even mockingly claim that arms, & money come to them through police, ordinance depots, other departmental officials and contractors.
A little backgrounder (take with grain or two of salt) ...Taking its name from the 1967 peasant revolt in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, the Naxalite movement is a left-wing guerrilla force that is seeking to overthrow the Indian government. Since the time of the Naxalbari revolt the movement has taken on various forms and its support has fluctuated from one decade to the next. Its most recent manifestation is the result of a 2004 decision by two Maoist groupings, the People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre, to join forces to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist). This post-2004 incarnation of the Naxalite insurgency has been one of the most sustained -- and perhaps the most lethal.
For those who like to keep score on such things ...Reporting incidents of Naxal attacks in Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Dhamtari, Bastar, Narayanpur, Balrampur and Durg districts, the state gave a break-up of casualties for the last three years upto April 30 this year. A total of 880 persons have been killed, who included 356 police personnel, 118 Special Police Officers (SPOs) and home guards, 391 civilians and 15 government servants. With Monday's landmine blast claiming 31 more lives, the toll has now crossed 900. What is equally troubling is the cache of arms amassed by Naxals after their successful attacks on security forces. Naxals not only picked up the best of the weapons -- INSAS rifles, Ak-47s, SLRs, LMGs and mortars -- but also removed bulletproof jackets from the bodies of security men and distributed them among the leading cadre.