Mar 21, 2007

Too Drunk to Fight Back

The Sorry State of Chhattisgarh Police Force

If what “Times Now” is reporting on the recent massacre of 55 Chhattisgarh policemen by about 400 Maoists is to be believed, then the Chhattisgarh police have only themselves to blame for the large casualties.

The [internal] report [prepared by paramilitary officials] makes clear that the policemen at the Rani Bodli camp were too drunk to fight back. More than that, the report says that no one at the camp undertook night patrols and that a majority of the guards were sleeping when the lethal attack took place. They were so unprepared for the Naxal attack, that a majority of them were not even properly armed.

….investigations into the attack on Rani Bodli camp have revealed that almost the entire force in the camp was drunk. Also, most of the policemen were not on duty, while those on duty were not even properly armed.


The report says that intelligence inputs about an impending attack were completely ignored and that there was no night patrolling in and around the camp. The report further said that the guards manning the Light Machine Guns had very little or almost no ammunition on them. It also said that the guards on duty were not alert and they noticed the Naxals only after they opened firing.

In the attack that took place on the morning of March 15, Naxals also took away more than 37 weapons. According to the report, which is to be submitted to the Union Home Ministry, almost all the guards of the camp were sleeping at the time of the attack.[Times Now]

If this is the way Chhattisgarh policemen are taking on the Naxalites, then why blame anyone else? Of the 55 killed 38 were Special Police Officers (SPOs) who are recruited from the local tribal youths. These SPO are poorly trained and armed. And getting drunk is one of the favourite activities of tribals.

Today Chhattisgarh accounts for a majority of incidents and casualties when it comes to Naxal violence. Last year, Chhattisgarh witnessed 715 incidents of Maoist violence that left around 304 civilians, 84 security personnel and 74 Naxalites dead - a strike rate worse than in Pakistan backed terror–ridden Jammu & Kashmir. To assist the state govt in anti-Naxal operations, the Center has deployed 13 battalions of Central paramilitary forces including CRPF in Chhattisgarh.

There can be no dispute that the major blame for the turning Chhattisgarh into a Naxal haven squarely lies on the state govt headed by BJP. Even after so many deaths the brazen and callous BJP state govt is continuing in office. Will this state govt - where the state DGP is busy composing a
lullaby to motivate his hapless police force - ever wake up?

After every Naxal death dance all that the state and central govts do is issue those customary lackadaisical condolence statements and then forget all about the Naxal scourge till the next outrage. For the BJP and the larger Sangh Parivar as long as these tribals remain tribals its fine but once soul harvesters arrive among these tribals, then these very sacrificial tribals become as precious as caste Hindus are for the Sanghis. Unfortunately for even the soul harvesters there is no guarantee that they can carry on their trade in the Naxal infested jungles without their souls being ‘harvested’ by the Naxals. Hence they too don’t want these tribals.

In Andhra Pradesh the Congress govt - despite getting severe flak from many quarters - tried to hold talks with the Naxals and during this period operations against the Naxals were suspended. The Naxals used this opportunity to replenish their supplies and recruit new cadres. The talks eventually failed - as predicted - and the large-scale attacks feared of however haven’t occurred till now. This “success” credited to the vigilant state police especially the elite greyhound commandos. There shouldn’t be any room for complacency to set in because the recent successes of Maoists in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere would embolden them to move on to bigger targets in urban areas. Andhra Pradesh being one of the economic powerhouses of India becomes a marked target in this regard.

The callousness of the so-called vibrant and vigilant Indian press is appalling. They were demanding the head of Narendra Modi when he let the rioters played Holi with blood on the streets of Gujarat. But are blind to see what sorry state CM Raman Singh has brought Chhattisgarh to because the blood of the poor tribals is worthless to the bloody racists that we are.

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