Even as the Central government prepares for a massive offensive against the Maoist guerrillas, a large majority of citizens polled by Hindustan Times say focussing on talks and development would help tackle the insurgency better than any armed crackdown. See survey results - Part 3
Some 2,000 respondents from 10 cities taking part in the survey named the Maoist insurgency — which has spread to more than a quarter of India’s 626 districts — as a major impediment to the country’s progress.
But only 14 per cent felt mobilising armed forces was the best way to tackle the insurgency.
Around 21 per cent voted for negotiations with the rebels, while 26 per cent asked for boosting development spending in backward areas.
A strategy, combining all three measures won the backing of 39 per cent of the respondents.
The survey reinforced a widely-held view that persistent deprivation and alienation of people living in some of the country’s impoverished tracts was responsible for creating groundswell of support for the Naxals.
Forty-three per cent of respondents held growing social inequality driving people into the Naxal fold.
A breakdown of law and order situation, wherein it has become impossible for ordinary people to get justice and find redressal of their grievances with the police or the judiciary, was also blamed by 35 per cent respondents.
More than half, or 53 per cent, of the respondents said the police were very corrupt and many attributed it to low salaries and pressure from politicians and top officials on lower staff to commit acts of commission.