Prasanna Mohanty | February 1, 2010
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister speaks about the Maoist menace.....
In an exclusive interview with Governance Now Deputy Editor Prasanna Mohanty, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh says the Maoist menace can be tackled by the judicious use of force and development work. Below are some excerpts on key issues:
Q: Why is the administration finding it so tough to contain Maoists?
Singh: It isn’t a problem of one state. When they are attacked in Andhra Pradesh, the Maoists cross-over to Chhattisgarh. The Central government never focused on it as a national problem. Had we started an integrated action plan -- involving paramilitary forces to fight the menace while employing Border Road Organisation and other agencies in development work, including grant of Forest Rights to tribals -- ten years back, it would have been solved by now.
Q: Why is there no coordination among various Maoist-affected states?
Singh: It is now that the West Bengal government is realizing the gravity of the situation when it is faced with a big challenge. As far as other states are concerned, we are working with them on different strategies (to fight the Maoist menace) for quite some time.
Q: What are the difficulties in the battle against Maoists?
Singh: Our security forces are moving forward slowly. Police are meant for policing, not fighting guerrilla wars. We are now training them in Kanker (a Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College set up in 2005). It is a time-consuming affair. We will do development work once the force moves in to the area (of Maoist influence).
Q: How much fund are the Maoists generating and what are the sources?
Singh: They are generating about Rs 300 to 400 crore a year. This is from extortion. Everyone -- industries, mining companies, tendu leaf traders, PWD officials and everyone who operates in the state -- are paying the Maoists.
Q: Do you get complaints?
Singh: Nobody complains. Jis truck ko roz jaana hai woh complain nahin karega. Karega to complain karne ke laayak nahin rahega (Every truck that operates here daily will not complain. And if they do, they won’t be spared).
Q: How do you intend to end this extortion business?
Singh: The only solution is to finish off the Maoists, through use of force, development work and surrender policy, etc.
Q: Are you going to disband Salwa Judum given the criticism from the Supreme Court and the Union Home Minister’s disapproval of arming civilians?
Singh: We didn’t create it. It’s a natural phenomenon against the Maoist violence. It means ‘peace march’. It is a movement for peace. The Maoists are cowards, they use civilians as shields and so civilians get killed (during gun battles with security forces).
The union government enforced a nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020 to curb the spread of coronavirus as it was causing large-scale infection and disease. Challenges of pandemic management and levels of distress were revealed during this time. The fear of Covid spread like wildfire and a
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched three state-of-the-art human DNA units under the Nirbhaya Scheme for efficiency in criminal investigations. A wildlife DNA unit in Nagpur makes Maharashtra the country’s first state to have a forensic testing lab for animals.
The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term By Gautam Chintamani Bloomsbury / 400 pages / Rs 699 Gautam Chintamani, a film historian and author, has penned an in-depth chronicle of prime minister Narendra Modi’s second
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Mumbai civic authorities to take immediate action on unauthorized constructions on war footing. In a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Thackeray said no illegal construction will be tolerated in Mumbai and called upon the BMC to
After extending timings of shops and restaurants as well as the reopening of cinema halls and theatres under specified SOPs from October 22, in view of the festive cheer, the Maharashtra government has allowed restaurants and eateries to remain open till 12AM and shops and establishments to function till 1
Rubbishing the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, wherein India has slipped to 101 position to be placed below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and former vice chairman, NITI Aayog, has said that data collection and methodologies used