Close on the heels of the killing of Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya, 1 CRPF jawan was killed and 10 others were injured when their patrol party was ambushed by Maoists in the Gaya district of Bihar.
The CRPF party was acting on a tip off that the Maoist cadre had assembled in the area to discuss their plan for the upcoming Bihar bandh. The Maoists laid a trap and triggered a ladmine blast followed by heavy small arms fire. In the pitched battle that ensued, six Maoists are also said to have been killed.
This attack comes in a seemingly unending series of attacks by the Maoists on the Indian Police and Paramilitary forces in what can be termed as the battle of supremacy between the state of India and the Maoists. It also seems that so far, the Maoists are having an upper hand when pitted against the Indian Police half heartedly backed by the State. Of the Security forces engaged in anti-naxal operations, it is the CRPF that has borne the major brunt of the Maoist onslaught in the recent past. Undermanned and poorly maintained, the forces seem unable to take the Maoist guerillas head on.
The Maoist strategy is clear and logical. Evading decisive confrontation, creation of “Liberated Zones”, targeted kidnappings and assassinations and well scripted ambushes on the Security forces are all part of their ambitious game plan to keep the State perpetually engaged in a prolonged war. Since they can’t take on the military might of India head on, they will instead gnaw it from here and there, keeping the establishment rattled and thus creating a perpetual power void in the heart of India. The effectiveness with which they have been executing their plans would draw accolades from the best Generals or the toughest armies.
On the other hand, the policy paralysis which appears endemic has crept in our policy towards Naxals too. Post the Maoist inflicted massacres in the Security forces from 2009 to 2011, there was a hope that the state of India (Read GoI and State governments) would have learnt a lesson on two on how to tackle the Naxal menace but it seems that they never had a capacity to learn and are only too happy to send others’ children for massacre. There is a total lack of planning and coordination between the Security forces and the will of the Political brass of the Center and States to deal with the Naxals with a firm varies from wobbly to being downright spineless. There is a total lack of understanding (spontaneous or deliberate) of Guerilla Warfare and it seems that the government is just offering ceremonial sacrifices to the ruthless “comrades”. I wonder if they will awake after another humiliating defeat.