ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Revolutionary Means and Ends

Cruelty and brutality must never be part of the means of revolution.

It needs to be noted that when it comes to real encounters – not the fake, cowardly ones which are cold-blooded extrajudicial killings – with the Maoist guerrillas, the security forces are often outmanoeuvred. So it was in the recent real encounter in Latehar district of Jharkhand where the Central Reserve Police Force and the Jharkhand Jaguars, the latter the state’s special anti-Naxal force, were completely outmanoeuvred by the Maoist guerrillas. But what was worse, when they came back to recover the bodies of the dead soldiers they forced ordinary villagers – “do as we tell you or we’ll shoot you” – to accompany them into the forest, made these hapless people line up on either side of them as they moved into the forest to search for and recover the bodies, so scared they were of another real encounter with the Maoists. And, when they found the bodies, they ordered the villagers to first handle the corpses while they stayed at a safe distance. It is deplorable that the retreating Maoists had planted an explosive below one of the bodies which killed four of the villagers and seriously injured one of them, but it is a shame that the security forces used the villagers as “human shields”.

But, above all, what was deeply disturbing were news reports that medical personnel conducting an autopsy in a government hospital in Ranchi found that a bomb had been implanted in one of the bodies, which, Jharkhand Director General of Police G S Rath alleged, was the handiwork of the Maoists. Indeed, the latter, through a statement dated 16 January 2013 from their Bihar-Jharkhand-North Chhattisgarh Military Commission spokesperson, Toofan, have admitted to this act of planting a bomb in a dead soldier’s body.

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