Tuesday's Naxal attack at Dantewada, in which 75 security personnel were killed, is a sure wake up call for the authorities; and according to intelligence agencies, there will be more such attacks in the days to come, reports Vicky Nanjappa
State intelligence officials, who are on the job at the Naxal-affected areas, told rediff.com that the reason behind the sudden surge in Naxal attacks is that they had been on a recruitment spree.
The Naxals are recruiting cadres without a prolonged procedure of training that is usually involved. The Naxals are aware that the security forces are trying to clean them up, and they feel that they have very little time on hand.
The crash course of the Naxals just lasts two weeks. The training procedure includes a very quick course on usage of weapons, conducting a recee, keeping a tab on security forces and attack.
The recruitments have been highest in the tribal belts where the Naxals have managed to gain the support and sympathy of the local population.
Intelligence Bureau sources say the recruitment process is constant all across the red corridor, and is not limited to one particular area.
Mahendra Kumawat, former director general of the Border Security Force and former special secretary, internal security in the Union home ministry, told rediff.com that this is a very serious issue.
"The forces who are being sent in should be well-equipped, and there is no way in which personnel who are not trained should be sent into such areas," Kumawat said.
"The Naxal menace is the biggest internal threat to India and their primary aim is to push India back and ensure that it never becomes a superpower. They are growing in strength and they will become more sophisticated in future -- since they have been procuring weapons from outside the country. I will not rule out the fact that they have tied up with other anti-national forces from across the borders. This is a threat which has to be dealt with an iron fist or else it will only get worse," Kumawat noted.
Kumawat further pointed out that there is a need to have a proper strategy to counter the Naxals. The need of the hour is a specialised force to counter this problem and an increase in the number of security personnel.
Speaking of the local support which the Naxals have managed to garner while the security forces have not, Kumawat said, that the problem is due to the short tenure of security personnel.
"He has to be given a long tenure in one place. What I have noticed is that to wage a battle of this nature, it is important that they have local support. More than once I have seen it happen that just when a security detail is getting accustomed to the locals, it is moved out of that place," Kumawat said.
"In the backdrop of the Dantewada incident, our security forces have to sit down and analyse the situation, just like the Naxals do. They will surely change their strategy the next time around, since it has been noticed that after each attack, the Naxals hold a meeting -- where the attack is analysed, scrutinised and newer plans are devised for the next attack. The interesting thing is that they analyse the mistakes more after every attack, and ensure that the same thing is not repeated the next time," he added.