Maoists want to overthrow Indian state by 2050: Pillai (Second Lead)

March 6th, 2010 - 12:00 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Maoists want to overthrow the Indian state by 2050, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said Friday and admitted that it would take at least 7 to 10 years before states affected by the leftwing insurgency are able to crush the entrenched rebels and re-assert their authority.
“They (Maoists) want to overthrow the Indian state by 2050 and armed rebellion is what they believe in, but parliamentary democracy will prevail,” Pillai said addressing a gathering at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses here.

The Maoists are also trying to organise their cadres, he said, adding, “we do not have much faith in their cessation of hostilities”.

Pillai also pointed out that the armed cadres of around 10,000 were heavily motivated and trained and admitted that the personnel drawn from the paramilitary and state police forces had not been able to hit at even 5 percent of the armed cadres.

“We have a long bloody war ahead. It is going to be a long haul and I see violence going to go up. We do not have the forces to move into the areas where they (Maoists) are positioned,” admitted Pillai, speaking at the Eminent Persons Lecture series at the IDSA.

The home secretary also pointed out that Maoist rebels had killed 159 political party workers in six months, June to December, in West Midnapore in West Bengal.

“The way I see it in another two to three years, the tide will turn in India’s favour and it will probably take another 7-10 years before we take complete control of civil administration.”

The home secretary also pointed to the urban level of penetration of the Maoists through front organisations and did not rule out the possibility of even ex-servicemen helping them.

Pillai said building up the capacities of police forces in the six Maoist affected states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra was vital to tackle the guerrillas who held sway over vast swathes.

For starters, he said, it was important to fill the over 300,000 police vacancies across the country that had been neglected for years.

“We do not have the strength to move into areas occupied by the rebels. They have built up liberated areas and consolidated. They have taken advantage of perceived neglect and their annual income is over Rs.1,400 crore, largely through extortion,” said Pillai.

“They do a post-mortem of all their attacks like a professional, military doctrine so that they do not make the same mistakes when they launch subsequent strikes.”

Citing the instance of villages in Orissa’s Malkangiri district, Pillai said no development had taken place and the guerrillas had taken advantage of the situation.

“There is a vacuum in governance. It’s a slow process, there are lots of problems and the causes are many,” he said.

The home secretary lamented that one of the reasons why it has taken so long for the central government to get its act together was because there had been a tremendous neglect over the years.

“To increase our efficiency takes time. That is why our present plan is to focus solely on the six affected states. In addition, we are focusing our developmental activities in 34 districts in eight states,” said Pillai. The security forces will now be positioned permanently in the affected areas for a minimum of three years, he added.

A massive military offensive to eliminate Maoists was launched recently in the rebel strongholds of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. The operation would involve nearly 20,000 specially trained personnel drawn from the paramilitary and state police forces. Nearly 35,000 troops are already deployed in the states to counter the rebels.

Last year alone, Maoist violence accounted for over 1,100 deaths, the largest seen in recent years. The government has decided to reassert authority of civil administration in these rebel strongholds.

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