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Thursday, April 8, 2021

CRPF commando - Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, returns !!

Bastar is a district in the state of Chhattisgarh is in news for wrong reasons !  Jagdalpur is the district headquarters. Bastar is bounded   by Narayanpur District,   Kondagaon District,   Nabarangpur and Koraput Districts of Odisha State, and by Dantewada and Sukma. The district possesses a unique blend of tribal and Odia culture. Bastar and Dantewada districts were formerly part of the princely state of Bastar. Bastar was founded in the early 14th century, by Annama Deva, the brother of Kakatiya King Pratapa Rudra Deva of Warangal in Telangana. After India achieved independence in 1947, the princely states of Bastar and Kanker acceded to the Government of India, and were merged to form Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh. The district,   was one of the largest in India when formed.


Maoism, is failed principle perhaps but violent one at that.  The philosophical difference between Maoism and traditional Marxism–Leninism is that the peasantry are the revolutionary vanguard in pre-industrial societies rather than the proletariat. This updating and adaptation of Marxism–Leninism to Chinese conditions in which revolutionary praxis is primary and ideological orthodoxy is secondary represents urban Marxism–Leninism adapted to pre-industrial China.  

COBRA (backronym for COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) is a special operation unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)  proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare. Originally established to counter the Naxalite problem, CoBRA is deployed to address insurgent groups engaging in asymmetrical warfare.

The Nation was shocked and saddened to read that as many as 22 bodies of soldiers were found from the site of the gunfight that broke out between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region on Saturday. While 32 soldiers were injured, 1 was reported missing. Bijapur's superintendent of police Kamalochan Kashyap confirmed the toll.  Since the 2010 Chintalnar massacre, the Dantewada-Sukma-Bijapur axis has claimed the lives of more than 175 security force personnel, besides several civilians. While the Chintalnar encounter saw 76 CRPF men killed, the latest encounter in Bijapur Saturday led to the death of 22 security personnel.

A look at the data on Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh shows that most attacks and casualties have happened between March and July. Sources say this is because the CPI (Maoist) usually launches its tactical counter-offensive campaign between February and the end of June. This campaign involves aggressive military operations against security forces before the monsoons—that make movement difficult—hit the region. The key concern is that security forces are still struggling in this region, known as Bastar, despite the campaign against the Left-wing extremists starting around 15 years ago.

A host of factors—remoteness, jungle terrain, absence of administration and lack of political will—have been blamed for the slow progress there. Sources in the security establishment say the eradication of the movement in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Odisha has led to a concentration of cadre and leaders in the Bastar region—which provides easy movement for the rebels across borders because of its proximity to other states. Most, however, point to absence of roads, communication and proper administration as the main reason for Maoists continuing to hold the area. Some also point to the Chhattisgarh police having been “reluctant” over the years to take the lead in the fight.

The good news is :  Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commando who went missing during a deadly encounter in Chhattisgarh last week, was released after five days in Maoist captivity. 

“Bastar has some good news for the nation,” a police source said. Manhas was released in the presence of social worker Dharampal Saini and Gondwana Samaj chief Gelam Boraiya — they were in talks with Maoists for the jawan’s safe return —  and hundreds of villagers, according to the source. An 11-member team that went to bring Manhas back also featured seven local journalists. Sources said Manhas was brought to a camp in Tarrem — the area where the encounter took place. A CRPF official said Manhas will undergo health checkups and that he did not have any “apparent injury”. The jawan was admitted to Basaguda field hospital for medical examination. Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel congratulated the team that brought Manhas back.

It is time that Governments acted tough and eradicate completely the menace of Naxals.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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