THE killing of Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Mr. Bhima Mandavi and four others in a Naxal landmine blast near Dantewada just 48 hours ahead of voting in Lok Sabha election is a clear indication that time has come to declare a war on Naxalism afresh without losing time. It is obvious that the purpose of this blast was to deliver a blow to the establishment of the State of India when it was getting ready to exercise universal adult franchise to elect the next Lok Sabha. This is the Naxalite way to insist that they continue to wage war against the lawfully formed Government of the constitutionally established State of India. This means, the Naxals have declared themselves to be the enemies of India. That is the reason why the Government -- the Central and the State -- should accept the challenge and start hitting back with an intention of achieving a complete annihilation of the Naxals and crushing of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) not just in Chhattisgarh but also everywhere. The gory details of the blast are shocking.
The Naxals had planted the explosive device under the road and Mr. Mandavi’s vehicle just got blown up in pieces the moment it hit the landmine. Mr. Mandavi had been campaigning for his party’s candidate for the Lok Sabha election and touring the constituency. He knew the area well and felt free to move around. The Police authorities have claimed that Mr. Mandavi was cautioned against taking the particular route, a warning he reportedly took lightly. The end-result was that the blast took away a young, promising tribal leader, his vehicle driver, and three security personnel. This is very unfortunate. That a people’s representative falls prey to a Naxal landmine blast, is not just unfortunate but also very shocking.
This calls for a swift action of revenge by the Government on an urgent basis. Of course, when the election process is going on in the country and when massive numbers of security personnel are engaged in poll duties, any such swift action may be really a tough challenge to handle. Yet, the Government must hit back and teach the Naxals a lesson of their lifetime. Of course, any such retaliation has to be planned meticulously and executed with a lot of precision. In the past some years, the Security Forces have established their superiority over the Naxalite forces that are definitely on a decline in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere. Official statistics are available to prove that Left Wing Extremists are on the run all over the country. Many districts previously declared as Naxal-affected have been taken off the list in the past four years. This official success might get dented a little, as it did when the terrible Naxal strike of Jhiram Ghati took place claiming so many Congress leaders’ lives or now when MLA Mr. Bhima Mandavi got killed or when teams of policemen got killed in ambushes. Yet, the overall record of the Government’s fight against Left Wing Extremism has been good. It is time to extend that record by continuing to take sterner measures to curb Naxalism. It is time to hit back the hardest possible so that the Naxals learn very tough lessons.
It is time to avenge the Jhiram Ghati massacre and also the killing of Bhima Mandavi. This fight against LWE does not have any political dimension, and therefore Chhattisgarh Government and Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel must act fast and tough in a well-planned manner and make it impossible for the Naxals to survive the onslaught. For, this is the time to show to the Naxals a total solidarity among elements representing all shades of political opinion. May the political differences get settled through the ballot box, but in the fight against Naxals, political prides and prejudices must not be allowed to dominate the thought-process. For, the fight against Naxalism is to assert India’s integrity and sovereignty.