After the dastardly ambush by the Maoist terrorists and the martyrdom of 22 security personnel in the Bijapur-Sukma forest area of Chhattisgarh on Saturday 3 April 2020, we in Newsroom24x7 felt it necessary to put in public domain a keynote address by late DM Mitra on the “Maoist Problem”. Mitra was a distinguished Police officer and an authority on Left Wing extremism and terrorism linked with the Maoists.
Who are the Maoists? Late DM Mitra, a top Police officer, addressed this question while delivering the keynote address at a symposium on the “Maoist Problem” organised jointly by the Madhya Pradesh Academy of Administration and Newsroom24x7 ten years ago – September 2011. The symposium was attended by top IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers along with officers posted in districts bordering Chhattisgarh.
Mitra, who had a background of exclusive research on Maoists with extensive field studies across the country, had given a comprehensive presentation on the genesis, spread and handling of Maoist violence. He had used the opportunity to clarify many wrong conceptions about Maoists. While nothing much can be done in about 16 per cent of areas in the so-called Red Corridor unless police restores the writ of the government in those areas by flushing the Maoists out, administration and democratic political space can be improved in the rest 84 per cent areas in order to prevent them from falling under Maoist influence, he had emphasised.
Mitra had also recommended strengthening of Government’s Agencies, Police’s Service and Defensive Capabilities and factors for Enabling Democratic Opportunities, including Education, Communication (Roads),Recruitment into Government and Livelihood.
“Genesis and Spread of Maoist Violence and Appropriate State Strategy to Handle it” a report, written by DM Mitra and published by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) in 2011, concluded ten years ago that the “Maoists are much different from the earlier naxalites and are known to have their presence in 21 States”. According to this report, the estimation of Maoist cadre strength across various parts of the country varied from 10,000, 15000 to as much as 25000. Similarly, geographical spread of Maoist activities was estimated over 190 districts with Maoist violence reported from 90 of the 627 districts in the country.