You must have heard the Maoist/Naxal/Left Wing terror sympathisers – found in many forms such as writers, activists, ‘artists’, journalists, et al. – argue on two points in television studios as they romance with red terror.
“The Maoists fight for poor. And lack of development is pushing some misguided people to pick up guns.”
But these wild arguments were blown into pieces when the Maoists killed 26 CRPF jawans in a deadly ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on 24 April. The attack on the 74th battalion of CRPF took place when the jawans were engaged in securing an under construction road. Pertinent to mention that it is the second major attack by Maoists on a road opening party in the last two months. The last attack by Maoists on CRPF battalion took away the lives of 12 jawans on 11 March.
The Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, in the last few years, has been focussing on constructing roads in Maoist hit areas. Three roads are currently under construction in the Maoist infested areas. The first is a 75-km stretch of National Highway-30, connecting Sukma with Konta. The second connects Injeram and Bhejji, which came under attack on 11 March. And the third stretch, where the attack took place, connects Dornapal on National Highway 30 with Jagargunda. The area is the tri-junction of Maoist activities of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
In the recent past, Sukma has seen a huge infrastructure boost. A newly built bridge over Sabari River has reduced the distance between Sukma and the Odisha’s Malkanagiri district from 120 kilometres to just 3 kilometres.
“Sukma has seen a lot of road construction in the last couple of years and Maoists see this as their biggest enemy. CRPF, which is playing a major role in road construction in Chhattisgarh, is often coming under attack,” K Vijay Kumar, senior security adviser on Left-Wing Extremism in the Ministry of Home Affairs was quoted as saying.
At the top of it, the Home Ministry has a given green signal for the construction of a whopping 5,412 km-long road connecting 44 Maoist-affected districts in nine states – Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Bengal and MP. This is not to dispute that the pace road construction has rattled the Maoists.
Consider this following news headlines over the years:
- Mobile phone towers main target of Maoists
- Maoists threaten to blow up hospital
- Maoists blow up railway track in Jharkhand
- Maoists blow up school buildings in Jharkhand
- Maoists blow up bridge in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district
While development is argued as the solution to government-Maoist conflicts, the Maoists are systematically targeting the very instruments of development – roads, bridges, schools, mobile towers etc. They have even threatened to blow up hospitals.
The left-wing terrorists are scared of the development push by both the union and the state governments. Maoists, who look for safe sanctuaries to run their activities, are always anti-development. Because when the development happens, the Maoists will lose their constituency and go out of business.
That is precisely the reason development programmes, instruments of development and those associated with development projects are under attacks by the Maoists as they fear of the achchhe din.
Political writer, policy observer.