Maoists’ peace offer a ‘gimmick’, time to finish them: security expert

February 1st, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyRaipur, Feb 1 (IANS) The peace talk offer by the Maoists to the Chhattisgarh government is a “well thought out ploy of the guerrillas to buy time to regroup”, a counter terrorism expert said, adding that the security forces should utilise the opportunity to finally crush the rebels. “This is the perfect time for the police to fan out in the rebels’ den and deliver the knockout punch,” Brigadier (retd) B.K. Ponwar, director of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJWC) at Kanker in Chhattisgarh, told IANS Sunday.

“Their (Maoists’) philosophy is that all power flows from the barrel of a gun but now they are willing to come to the negotiating table. This has happened because the rebels suffered heavy casualties in the past two years and also because of the pressure of the Salwa Judum (civil militia),” he said.

Ponwar, a former commandant of the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram who has served in Punjab, Nagaland, Tripura and several other insurgency and militancy-hit areas of the country, was commenting on the Maoists’ peace talk offer to the state government.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee Saturday offered to hold talks with the state government. It is the first peace offer by the Maoists since they began their activities in the mineral-rich state in the early 1980s.

The state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has welcomed the offer though the police view it largely as “a diversionary tactic” of the insurgents who have been facing relentless attacks on their landmine protected forested hideouts in Bastar.

“The police must not put down their guns in the wake of the Maoists’ peace offer gimmick. Their (Maoists or Naxalites) whole philosophy is based on violence. By offering peace talks they just want to buy time to reconsolidate and regroup,” Ponwar said.

“This is a rare opportunity for the central and Chhattisgarh government to pump more guerrilla warfare skilled forces in Bastar to neutralise them forever,” he added.

Noting that the offer looks like a “well-designed tactic”, Ponwar said if the CPI-Maoist is really serious about peace, then the offer must come either from its politburo or central committee and the talks should be held with the Indian government as it is an inter-state problem.

Ponwar has trained about 7,000 policemen from seven states at the CTJWC since it was established in 2005.

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