Plan for September strike on Maoists, Maoists ready with counter-strategies
Posted by Admin on August 4, 2009
New Delhi, Aug. 3: An inter-services committee under the home ministry is charting a roadmap for an offensive against Maoists that is likely from the third week of September.
The committee comprises representatives of the army and the air force, apart from officials of the central paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies.
The Left-wing extremists have also been anticipating such an offensive. Their preparations are taking into account lessons they have drawn from the LTTE’s defeat in Sri Lanka, says a document released by the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
A senior officer told The Telegraph the army’s role would be confined to training and operational advice but the force’s involvement will be more direct. An army officer, Brigadier D.S. Dadwal, is attached to the “Naxalite management” cell of the home ministry.
Indian Air Force helicopters will definitely be deployed to move central troops – including for airdrops – and casualty evacuation. Depending on the situation in the core areas of the offensive and the terrain, such as in Bastar, parts of Orissa and Jharkhand, the IAF is also being asked to keep gunships ready.
India is chary about using air power in counter-insurgency operations though it is not without precedent.
Three years ago, the IAF deployed two Israeli-origin unmanned spy planes under the army’s central command headquartered in Allahabad. The Heron and Searcher-II aerial vehicles were tasked with surveillance in parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand that are inaccessible to central and state security forces.
The aircraft have since been withdrawn and sent to their original locations in the western command.
“Force assessments” – the requirement of forces – for the offensive being planned in September is the current task of the inter-services committee. New boots on the ground in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and western Orissa are being relocated from Jammu and Kashmir.
It has been estimated that after the Amarnath yatra ends on August 5, about 15 battalions – a battalion is between 900 and 1,100 troops – of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) can be moved from Jammu and Kashmir. These battalions would be deployed mainly in Chhattisgarh but some may also be sent to Orissa and Jharkhand.
The Border Security Force (BSF) is likely to pump in another five battalions. The new CRPF and BSF deployments against the Maoist rebels would be in addition to the existing central and state forces. The stretching of the central forces – the movement from Kashmir to Chhattisgarh means that the troops will hardly get any rest – is prompting the Centre to ask states to put in more forces.
Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s request to the Bengal government last week to “stabilise” Lalgarh quickly so that the central forces can be released illustrates the pressures of force projection.
The inter-services committee would also vet rules of engagement that it expects all the state forces to accept. A combined offensive, the Centre wants, should not be slowed down by state boundaries and the forces should have the liberty to move back and forth across them.
The Centre is also scheduled to host a conference of chief ministers of Naxalite-hit states on August 17 to be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Preparations, already rolling, are likely to intensify after that conference.
Central officials expect the offensive beginning in September and expected to last an indefinite period would be different from operations in the past. One officer pointed to a statement by Chidambaram to the Rajya Sabha in mid-July.
“Regrettably, for many years, we did not assess the LWE (Left wing extremist) challenge correctly. I think we underestimated the challenge,” the home minister had said.
The CPI (Maoist), in an appeal to its cadre dated June 12, said it expected the UPA government to launch an intensive offensive against its strongholds – in particular, the party’s document mentions “Maad”, a tribal region in Bastar.
The party also wrote: “The experience of the LTTE’s setback in Sri Lanka is very important for us to study and take lessons. The mistake of the LTTE lay in its lack of study of the changes in the enemy tactics, capabilities, international support and open assistance by imperialist powers, etc. i.e., an underestimation of the enemy along with an overestimation of its own forces and capabilities.”
The party anticipates that “the unfolding state terror and state-sponsored terror under Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram combine will be far more brutal, deadly and savage than under any other regime hitherto witnessed”.
New Delhi: The Maoists seem to have rightly calculated the possibility of the United Progressive Alliance government launching a major offensive along the red corridor, if their internal documents and actions are anything to go by. In fact, they have given paramilitary forces their bloodiest nose ever.
Documents recovered from the outlawed group in Chhattisgarh show a detailed strategy to counter the coming aggressive operations against them. According to the documents, the red brigade is recruiting more people and training them to widen the areas of operation to stop paramilitary forces from reaching their strongholds.
The documents, assessing the Lok Sabha elections and detailing the Maoists’ plans, show that the underground group was expecting the centre to harden its stand after the polls.
They show that the Maoists plan to build a countrywide mass movement. Along with the movement, the Maoists plan to enhance the involvement of cadres in fighting paramilitary forces.
“To counter the advance of security forces, we have to expand our guerilla war to newer areas on one hand, and intensify mass resistance in existing areas,” say the documents.
The Maoist literature also states that what is needed is meticulous planning against security personnel, special police officers and police informants, action against betrayers and arrested persons, and not maintaining party records. The documents say that there is not only a need to raise people’s issues, but also to arm and mobilise people into mass militant movements. DNA INDIA