Hyderabad, Dec. 1: Naxal sympathiser Varavara Rao on Monday claimed that the Centre’s conflict with Maoist forces in Central India is a political rather than a law and order issue, adding that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been sent in to protect the interests of corporate entities.
Rao was reacting to reports of 13 CRPF personnel being killed in a Maoist ambush.
“The conflict between the Centre and the Maoists is a political issue that should be settled through a dialogue with the parties in power. It also an issue of the adivasis and their needing to have a right over the jal-jungle-jameen, that is, water, forest and land. Instead of viewing it as a political issue, it is being viewed as a law and order issue,” Rao told media.
“The CRPF has been sent into these areas for the interests of corporate who wish to plunder the forests with their mining policies. It has turned into a war between the people and the state and since 2009, under the guise of Operation Greenhunt, the Centre and the state authorities have flooded the forests with around 1.5 lakh paramilitary personnel,” he added.
Rao also stated that the reason for the deployment of CRPF jawans in the forests of Chhattisgarh should be investigated rather than the cause of their deaths.
“The reason why the CRPF is sent to the forests of Chhattisgarh or to any other areas where Maoists are present should be discussed first, rather than their deaths in a particular event. The forces went into a tribal area where the locals should have rights over their land and Central forces viewing this as only a law and order problem is by itself a law and order problem,” he said.
“When the CRPF forces are killed, everyone from the politicians to the media talks about it, but when the adivasis are killed, no one talks about it,” he added.
Earlier in the day, an attack by Maoist forces left 13 Central Reserve Police Force ( CRPF) personnel of paramilitary unit dead, including two officers in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
According to reports, the Maoist forces are also understood to have used local villagers as a human shield against retaliatory fire.