Ethically, no war just: Ex-Chhattisgarh DGP
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Known for his tough stand against Maoists when in service, former Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwaranjan now believes that incidents like the Sarkeguda encounter that left 17 tribals dead last month do no good to the forces. "Ethically, no war is just. Ultimately you brutalise your own people," he told The Indian Express, adding that the only solution to the Naxal problem was focused development.
His advice forms a part of the memoirs that Vishwaranjan is writing since retirement in March.
Security personnel, Vishwaranjan said, normally inflict more injury then required in special operations. "Forces normally tend to overreact in such situations, and then the fallout is too much, almost uncontrollable. You lose people, area and your base. You cannot make informers now."
At the same time, he admitted that "Sometimes you reach a situation when there is no option except force." In such a situation, minimising the damage is up to the field leadership, the former DGP said.
"Irrespective of the training, the actual training is on the ground. And here the role of the commander becomes crucial. If after an incident, in which a few cops were killed, a commander exhorts his team, 'Unhone tumhare paanch mare, kya tum bees nahi maroge?', he may be motivating and exhorting his demoralised men, but can also send a wrong signal and cause a lot of collateral damage."
Underlining the role of development, Vishwaranjan said the Naxal problem was solely due to indifference of various governments. "When the forces go to an area, we promise a lot to locals. We promise development, to bring back smiles and if it does not happen, and it is not happening now, then the police lose local support," he said.
"When Naxals first entered any state, the government ignored them terming them 'juvenile visitors'. As their activities grew, they were termed a law and order problem. More area came under their influence, and the government now called them a socio-economic issue. Later the government claimed it was a political problem, and finally when the matter went out of hand, it has been termed a national issue," Vishwaranjan summed up.
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