Former Director General of Punjab Police, S S Virk, has said that there is lack of an coordinated effort to tackle Naxalism in India and the policy makers have to devise new plans and experiments to tackle the menace. He said that Naxalism is one of the biggest threats to the democracy in India and as such need to be finished off as soon as possible.
S S Virk, who headed the police force against terrorists when they were most active in Punjab, was in Pune recently. In an informal discussions with journalists and others, organized by Pune-based Non-government Organization, Sarhad. Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad, was present on this occasion.
Virk said, “We had to think differently while dealing with the Naxals because normal policing and armed insurgency are two different things. Naxalism is emerging as a bigger problem. Naxalism, if allowed to grow, will pose bigger problem not only to policing system but also to the administration as a whole. It is a long drawn battle.”
He said, “The danger in the Naxalism is violence and capacity of violence. In the recent incident in Chhattisgarh, 30 persons, including leaders of Congress party were killed. This showed the level of violence and that Naxals are prepared to carry out such violence and atrocities show their capacity of violence. This is a very serious signal and it is also a security failure.” However, he opposed the idea of deploying Army to fight them saying that it is an internal problem and not an insurgency.
Virk said that rights now, there seems to be no single policy to fight the Naxals. Each Naxal-affected state is fighting the menace in its own way. When asked whether anti-Naxal operations can gain success if they are brought under a single unified command, probably controlled from Center in New Delhi, he answered in affirmative. “During the militancy days in Punjab, we did some experiments and they shown fruition. Likewise, you need to devise new plans and importantly, there should be a single unified command. If that is done, success can be achieved,” he said.
Virk also said that fortunately, 95 percent of people in India are law abiding and peace loving.