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A comprehensive strategy is needed to tackle the red menace

In one of the deadliest Maoist attacks in Bastar, 23 security personnel were killed and 33 injured. Around 2,000 troops had gone on an operation deep in the jungles of Bijapur after they received information that a large number of Maoists was holding a meeting there. But after the encounter broke out, the security personnel were lured into a Maoist trap in Tekulguda village where the insurgents had set up firing positions and attacked the jawans from three sides.

There was clearly an intelligence lapse on the part of the security forces in that they weren’t fully cognisant of the Maoist plan. A thorough review of the operation needs to be undertaken to ascertain any lacunae. The Maoists have been a persistent thorn in the side of the security forces. Their guerrilla tactics in deep forested areas make them a formidable force. The massacre of Congress leaders by Maoists in 2013 amply highlighted the security threat that the ultras pose.

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In such a scenario, there needs to be political unity in the country on tackling the Maoist problem. We can’t have different political parties play politics over this. In this regard, authorities would do well to work on a comprehensive strategy to deal with armed Maoists rather than spend their energies on investigating so-called urban naxals in universities and academia.

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