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Association of Retired Senior IPS Officers (ARSIPSO)

This is with reference to my letter No. ARSIPSO/GS-BSD-4/2023 dated. 10/08/2023 on the 4th B.S. Das Memorial Lecture, which had to be rescheduled for unavoidable reasons.

The 4th B.S.Das Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Shri Anil Kumar Sinha, IAS (Retd.), on the subject Disaster Management: Creating Safer Communities, has now been rescheduled for October 14, 2023 as per the following:

Conference Room No. 2, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, October 14, 2023 (Saturday)

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Dedication to the policy of surrender - An article on the Maoist problem - By Prakash Singh


The Government of India got a remarkable success in its campaign against Naxals in 2011 though it was not properly publicized. Down from 223 the number of Naxal-affected districts is 182. In addition, there was a significant decline in the number of incidents of violence. As against 2,213 in 2010, in 2011 there were 1,745 such incidents. The number of people killed in Maoist violence in 2011, as against 1,005, in 2010, came down to only 606. 285 security personnel were martyred in 2010-2011, that number was down to 142. There were 54 attacks on the railway in 2010, while in 2011 only 31 such incidents occurred. Maoist leadership also suffered heavy damage. Two of the 16 Politburo members (Azad and Kishan) were killed while seven other members were arrested by the police. Five of the 39 Central Committee members were killed and 13 arrested. It was a great setback to the Maoists to have their leadership arrested or killed. In March of 2012, security forces have a job yet never was. The CRPF launched their operation for the first time in Abujmadh region of Chhattisgarh, an area spread over 4,000 sq km. The Maoist called the Abujmadh area as their free zone. The state government did not have even an official map of this region. There is no government office or any police station in the entire area. Tribes live there in the hands of God. Maoists quickly fled from the area on arrival of security forces in the region. Overall, anti-Maoist campaign was going well. Meanwhile, Orissa Naxalites felt bolstered by what happened there. In the Kandhamal district two civilians were abducted on March 14 and then ten days later on March 24 Biju Janata Dal MLA from Koraput district, Jhinna Hikaka was abducted. Orissa government has shown weakness from day one. Bargaining started with the Maoists. Both citizens of Italy were eventually freed. On April 26 the MLA was also released on the condition that he would resign from the Assembly. Government of Orissa did not learn any lesson from the events but the Maoists did learn. They learnt that to get their demands accepted or to get their colleagues freed or to get the litigation against them dropped, it is the easiest way to hijack an important person. The State Government does not have the stamina to fight and that it easily bends. Learning the lesson, the Maoists abducted Sukma District Collector, Alex Paul Menon, in Chhattisgarh on April 21. To release the Collector the Maoist demanded the release of eight dreaded Naxalites and stoppage of anti-Naxalite operations. Chhattisgarh Government dealt with the situation in a well planned manner. The central government has not yet defined which policy should be pursued to deal with serious situations like kidnappings. In 1989, the then Union Home Minister's daughter Rubaya Sayeed was kidnapped in Kashmir. Instead of dealing with the situation diplomatically, the then Prime Minister VP Singh knelt before the kidnappers and four notorious terrorists were released. As a result, the situation worsened in the valley. Ten years later in 1999 when the Indian Airlines plane was hijacked, the Vajpai government released four notorious terrorists after reaching a shameful compromise. One of them was Maulana Masood Azhar, who later raised Jaish-e- Mohammad Organization that wreak havoc in Kashmir. It is a matter of great regret that even after occurrence of such large scale incidents, the central government has not come out with a policy on the subject. Surprisingly, no use of force (NSG) has ever been made to save the kidnapped persons. Unfortunately, nowadays it is only abuse of VIP security. State Department and Central Intelligence Bureau would have some information as to where the Sukma Collector was kept. Some people might say that such actions could endanger the life of the Collector. There is of course risk in every such operation. The governments which are bold enough do take such risks. The Seal of the United States commandos killed Osama bin Laden in Abottabad. All top US officials were concerned about the success of Obama operation. If the government dilly dallies from day one, the rebellious or terrorist organizations always dominate and take advantage of the situation. This is the need of the hour that the State Government of Chhattisgarh and the Government of India should make it a point that they are not to surrender before the terrorists. Maoists could be warned that if there was any damage to the Collector, the Maoists would be fully responsible for that. The life of the Collector was precious. All efforts should have been made to save his life. But in this exercise the morale of the police and para military forces and the honour of the nation should not be compromised.

(The author is a specialist in internal security)
(The article was originally published in the Dainik Jagran of 27 April 2012)

The views and facts stated above are entirely the responsibility of the author and do not reflect the views of this Association in any manner.

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