Wednesday, April 14, 2010

digvijay singh and p chidambaram controversy

This is a backgrounder to what Digvijay Singh wrote in Economic Times today.


(Our comments on the following letter
The problem with this particular letter is that it promises nothing--so there is nothing in it that anyone can be held accountable to.  The implicit drift of the letter is -- "I (Digvijay Singh) have spoken to Chidamabaram-and Chidamabaram is a nice and reasonable man."  And then it continues on to say how even he, Digvijay Singh, himself was such a nice and reasonable man as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.  And it parrots the same old administration line about Naxalites being the main reason why there is no "development", which is why action against them is unavoidable.The only thing of value in the letter is that fact that it confirms that Chidambaram has been made aware of, or rather he cannot get away with being blind to, the atrocities committed by the security forces and has promised to look into them.)
                                                                                  31st October, 2009

Dear Shri Himanshu Kumar,

After our meeting I met Mr. P. Chidambaram our Home Minister. I explained your views in detail to him. I also gave him my own views on this subject. He was extremely positive and was open to talks for peace with anyone any time. His only pre condition was to stop violence. He also made clear that laying down of arms was not a pre condition for talks.

I also conveyed to him about the implementation of Forest Right  Act amending the Mining Regulation Act , Land Acquisition Act and implementation of PESA in Schedule areas. I also conveyed to him about the atrocities committed by the Police and Para Military Forces which you had mentioned.

He has assured me that he would look into these issues. As a Chief Minister of MP I had appealed to the Naxalites to stop violence. If they did I would withdraw police out posts and also reduce force from these areas which I did when there was no incident for three months.
The development process in these Naxalite affected areas has completely come to a stop and the tribals and the other forest dwellers  are the biggest losers. It is also the responsibility of the Civil Society activists to convince the Naxalite leadership to shun violence and come for talks.
I am sure you all would also use your influence to convince the Naxalites to shun violence.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,


Shri Himanshu Kumar
Vanwasi Chetna Ashram
Kawalnar, Dantewara
Chattisgarh-494 449




Governor of Chhatisgarh
asks Union Home Minister not to visit
Dandewada Naxal inflicted areas

By  R Rajagopalan

In an unusual way the Governor of Chhatisgarh ESL Narasimhan wrote to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to resist the temptation of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to visit Naxal affected areas in Raipur and Dandewada on January 7, 2010 During this visit P Chidambaram shall undertake  padayatra on Jan 7, 2009

This is the first time that a Governor stops the official visit of
a union home minister.

ESL Narasimhan is a former Indian Police Service officer of
Andhra Pradesh cadre. Now a Governor of Chhatisgarh.

In a two pages letter to Prime Minister ESL Narasimhan,
said that during operations, such a high dignatory visit would
hamper the strategies and tactics.

P Chidambaram has plans to spend one night with the NGOs
in Naxal affected areas in Chhatisgarh.

ESL Narasimhan having spent 35 years in Intelligence Bureau
and held Director of IB before moving into Raipur Raj Bhavan
Hence Governor knows the operational difficulties in such
Maoisit inflicted areas in his state.

Contacted to speak to Governor or the senior PMO office
for reaction, ADC to Governor said that Governor refuses
to speak to media. Such was blunt reply. However, Union Home Ministry in North Block confirmed the receipt of a letter
from ESL Narasimhan to Prime Minister, as they had received
a copy for advance information. But refused divulge the details.
Meanwhile, Operation Anti-Red Terror has been set into 
motion with some 80,000 highly-armed personnel drawn 
from three central paramilitary forces and thousands of 
state policemen fanning out to take on the Maoists in the
three most Naxal-affected districts in central India 
. The districts where the offensive is being unleashed 
are Kanker and Rajnandgaon districts in Chhattisgarh, 
and Gadchiroli in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra
The task assigned to them is to drive out the Maoists 
and free the areas under their influence, so as to 
allow government agencies to launch development 
works and restore law and order.
Officials in New Delhi asserted that a 
clear-cut line has been given to the forces to avoid 
violent conflicts unless they become imperative..
"If they retreat we are not going to hunt and kill them. 
They may, however, not retreat peacefully so we are 
prepared for any attacks. The forces have been 
specially trained to tackle guerrilla-type strikes,
 as we do not expect them to get into a head-on 
confrontation, especially when we have pushed in 
a large number of forces to outnumber them," a 
top official who is coordinating the operation said.

The Central Reserve Police Force, Border 
Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police 
and state police are carrying out the operation jointly.
In the first phase, the forces will move deep into 
the interiors of the forest areas to set up their 
outposts. Once they establish themselves, they 
will venture further into remote areas to mount 
an onslaught to cleanse the area of Maoists.
The official said the offensive will include house
 to house searches but there will be no violence 
unless the forces are attacked. Even their 
response will be limited to drive out those
 mounting the attacks, he said.

"Once we clean out the areas, the district 
administration will step in with development
works. Our task is limited to neutralising the 
Maoists who are not allowing the government 
staff to do any work in the areas under their 
control, and to drive them out," the official added.


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