New Delhi, Feb 7: In a hard-hitting attack on BJP-ruled Jharkhand for its “ineffective” anti-Naxal operations, Home Minister P Chidambaram has said despite alarming escalation in Maoist violence, no serious effort has been made by the state government to deal with the extremists.
In a letter to Chief Minister Arjun Munda, Chidambaram said Jharkhand became the most affected state in Naxal violence in 2011 and the situation there was a “major cause for concern”.
He asked Munda to galvanise the state police leadership to take more pro-active steps.
“Anti-Naxal operations in 2011 have been unfortunately ineffective. No serious efforts appear to have been made to launch a counter offensive when security forces personnel were killed by the CPI (Maoist),” he said in the recent letter.
Further, Jharkhand is the only Left-wing extremism-affected state which has reported more snatching of arms in 2011 compared to the previous year.
“Two top CPI (Maoist) leaders - Prashanto Bose alias Kishanda and Mihir Besra - are very active in the state, according to intelligence reports,” the letter said.
Chidambaram told Munda that the increase in Maoist activities were manifested by the alarming increase in the number of ‘Jan Adalats' (so called people's courts) - 53 in 2011 compared to 25 in 2010.
Through these Jan Adalats, the extremists have created a wave of terror amongst the people by publicly punishing those who ‘disobey' their ‘writ' in the state, he said.
BJP leads a coalition government in Jharkhand.
The Home Minister,in his missive, said that the situation was further aggravated by the participation of large number of villagers and even elected panchayat samiti members in such Jan Adalats.
“The state machinery does not appear to have initiated counter measures to stop such Jan Adalats,” he said A particularly “worrisome” feature of the violence in Jharkhand, Chidambaram said, is the killing of civilians after being branded as ‘police informers'.
In 2011, 35 alleged ‘police informers' have been killed by the Naxals.
In a gruesome incident, armed CPI (Maoist) extremists convened a large Jan Adalat at Kamey village in West Singhbhum district on September 30 where they brutally assaulted and beheaded the ‘mukhiya', Tomdel Panchayat, alleging that the victim was a ‘police informer'.
“You will agree with me that the overall LWE situation in Jharkhand is a major cause for concern. There is a need to galvanise the state police leadership to take more pro-active steps,” the Home Minister said.
Chidambaram asked Munda to personally review and monitor the situation and assured that the Central government would provide all possible assistance like in the past.
In his letter, the Home Minister said that it has been noticed that front organisations and pro-LWE outfits and other sympathisers of the CPI(Maoist) have been actively indulging in negative propaganda over issues like Jharkhand Bachao Andolan, so called “Operation Green Hunt” and anti-displacement, among others.
It is reported that the CPI (Maoist) have seized large tracts of cultivable land in several villages of Gomia in Bokaro district that were being cultivated by CPI(Maoist) supporters who surrender a fixed percentage of the produce to the CPI (Maoist), the Home Minister said.