On 24th November 2011, the one of the top Maoist Leader Maallojula Koteshwar Rao, famously known as Kishen Ji was killed by the CoBRA forces in the Jungles of Burisole in West Midnapore district in West Bengal. Kishen Ji was the Central Committee Member of CPI (Maoist) and head of Military Commission and Eastern Regional Bureau (ERB). In fact, after the killing of the Maoist Azad last year and now the elimination of Kishen Ji by the government forces have left a huge gaping hole in the top-leadership of the Maoist movement.
But what does Kishen Ji’s death means for Jharkhand?
As compared to Jharkhand State Government, the Union Government of India seems much more enthused by the death of Kishen Ji, in their ongoing battle against the Maoist forces in the Jharkhand-Bengal-and-Orissa region. They have initiated the process to win back the hearts and minds of the people living in these Maoist strongholds. Besides, both the Governments want to take back the control of the areas being dominated by Maoists in the region.
Why Maoism has taken deep-roots in Jharkhand state?
The foremost reason is the “poor-governance” in the state; it is sad and harsh truth that denizens of Jharkhand have yet to experience the fruits of “good and stable governance” in decade long existence. The successive state government has failed miserably to look after the welfare of common–people of the state and left a vacuüm in its vast hinterland. This vacuüm was incidentally filled up by gun-toting determined Maoist cadre. Now we have a situation that the tentacles of Maoists have reached dangerous proportion, with their nexus being extended beyond the Commoners to Business Class to even Bureaucratic and the Political Class.
What are the Governments’ proposed plans to win the ongoing battle against Maoism?
It seems finally the Central Government has finally woken up to the threats posed by the armed Maoist cadres. The activists and the vocal detractors of the Government attribute the present day heightened activity of the Government to the mineral-rich regions of Jharkhand and neighboring states are one of the worst affected by the Maoists. And both Maoists and the Government would want to control the mining and flow of much-valued minerals from these regions.
So recently Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram visited Jharkhand and promised to,
- Firstly, Central Government would release Rupees 770 crore under the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) meant for Maoist-affected Districts to carry out various developmental plans in the current financial year. Jharkhand Government on the other hand managed to get 3 more districts, viz., Ranchi, Khunti, and Chaibasa, added to the list. Now Jharkhand boast of 17 districts out of 24 districts being severally affected by the Maoists. More districts mean more funds for the Jharkhand, but whether they would be able to use the Development Funds properly? We are unsure.
- Secondly, Central Government would also make available 7 more battalions of the Central Para-Military Force (CPMF) consisting of 5 more battalions of CRPF and 2 battalions of CoBRA to assist the Jharkhand police. Also couple of more Indian Air Force (IAF)’s MI-17 Helicopters would arrive in state to help in the ongoing anti-Maoist drive.
But are these steps enough to end Maoism in Jharkhand?
Even if we are optimistic, we don’t think so, because of the past records of Maoists and the Governments.
Kishen Ji place shall be taken by another Maoist leader, then they would again regroup and continue to wage their battle against the government.
On the other hand, despite the tall and lofty pronouncements by the ruling politicians, their slow-moving Governments would continue to flounder and thereby struggle to usher in era of good-governance in the State, more so in the districts adversely affected by Maoism.
So the Kishan Ji’s demise does not mark the end of the Maoism. At least not until the good-governance firmly replaces the overwhelmingly corrupt, inefficient and exploitative governance in the economically poorer but mineral rich regions of Jharkhand.
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