Monday, 4 April 2005

Breakdown of talks with Naxals sparks Maoist violence

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 4: The breakdown of peace talks is proving to be costly for the YS Rajasekhar government with one violent death reported almost every eight hours since January this year.
As many as 150 people including 80 Naxalites have been killed either in Maoist violence or police "encounters" all over the State after the talks broke down, creating a sense of fear psychosis in interior villages and areas abutting forests.
Such is the extent of fear in the jungles that even a top police official like the DGP has to use helicopters to visit police stations in far-flung areas with Naxal dominance. Earlier only the chief minister used to use helicopters. Incidentally, it is the first time that a DGP is avoiding going by road, choosing to heli-hop frequently to forest areas in recent years.
The Maoists have also changed their strategy to keep the State government and the police machinery under constant pressure and fear by hitting at unexpected targets, be it police stations or little known politicians. The recent attack on Chilakaluripet police station and the killing of local-level Congress, TDP and BJP leaders are part of the Maoists' new plan of action to rule over the interior areas.
On Monday alone, the Maoists killed RSS activist and Bharatiya Kisan Morcha district president K Ayyapu Reddy in Mahbubnagar district. Just a few hours earlier they killed mandal Congress leader Yelka Madhusudhan Reddy in the same district. Though these local politicians are not on the hit-list of the Naxalites, they are simply targeting them to put pressure on the government.
Maoists former representative and revolutionary singer Gaddar fears that bloodshed will be more if there's no rule of law by the government. "If you abide by the law, it's for your good", he advises the Congress government while accusing it of shutting the doors for peace and peace talks.
Squarely blaming the State government for the failure of the talks process, Virasam president Kalyana Rao, who withdrew as Maoist representative on Monday, feels that peace will return to the jungles if the State government restored the pre-talks atmosphere.
Iornically, both the Naxals and the State government are planning to involve local tribal youth in their fight against each other. While the government has decided to raise a tribal greyhounds force, the Naxalites are increasingly employing tribal youths into their movement.
Drawing a parallel between Mahabharatha and the ongoing Naxal-police fight, Gaddar likened the State government to Duryodhana and the Moaists to Pandavas in "Vanvas" (forest exile). "We emissaries are like Krishna. When the Pandavas sent Krishna to Duryodhana as an emissary, he was held captive", he said.

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