The Union home ministry (MHA) has written to the Election Commission (EC) to hold the first phase of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in Maoist affected ‘hypersensitive’ districts. The MHA has admitted that anti-Maoist operations have not yielded any results ‘in terms of attrition among the ultras in the last four months.
The MHA said the additional deployments in ‘hypersensitive’ districts should largely comprise central paramilitary forces rather than state forces from non-Left wing extremism affected states “who do not have the requisite tactical orientation”, documents assessed by HT reveal.
The MHA note has categorised the Maoist-affected districts into three groups – ‘A’ (hypersensitive), ‘B’ (moderately sensitive), and ‘C’ (less sensitive).
The note said anti-Maoist operations should be scaled up in the ‘A’ districts as the ‘window of opportunity’ is available only in the remaining days of February and the first fortnight of March, “failing which, there can be major problems during the elections.”
The MHA said state governments should declare rewards for information on improvised explosive devices (IEDs). EC was requested to set up polling booths around a large number of security forces camps.
Revelations to the police by Gudsa Usendi, spokesperson of a Maoist unit, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, has indicated that the insurgents plan to take advantage of the rather thin deployment of security forces during the parliamentary elections. About 38% of the total central paramilitary forces are deployed in Maoist-affected areas across central India which is largely a tribal tract.
Traditionally, tribal communities across central India have been the usual mainstay of the Maoists for support, shelter and cadres with the inaccessibility and remoteness of such areas facilitating construction of bases for weapons training and ideological indoctrination. The movement also found fertile ground among the tribals, whose angst due to a strong sense of being wronged and exploited, got largely channelised into the Maoist movement.