Tarem Attack – UPSC GS3

  • Over 20 paramilitary personnel died in an encounter with the Maoists in the Tarrem area near Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.
  • Tarrem attack points out that the declining Maoists remain a strong military threat.
  • Reports point out a Maoist surprise attack on the paramilitary personnel.
  • Forces were performing search operations in Maoist strongholds. The timing of these search operations matches with the Maoists’ attempt to disrupt the construction of a road near Silger-Jagargunda.
Why some areas are still under Maoists influence?
It is due to the following reasons:
  • There is a lack of road and telecommunications infrastructure in these remote areas. Maoists are able to use the terrain to their advantage.
  • These groups still manage to recruit people from these remote areas. People living in these tribal areas either untouched by welfare or there are discontents due to state repression.
  • Maoists also know that state crackdown after the violence provides them with more recruits. Thus, violence is useful for them.
Flaws in Internal Security Management:
  • Operational Challenges:
    • Leadership failure was seen in recent attacks. Security personnel left their dead comrades in the grip of Maoists rather than trying to regroup and attack the Maoists.
    • Lacunae in the intelligence network were also unearthed as the security personnel got trapped in the plan of Maoists.
    • Use of large and diverse forces (CAPF, COBRA commandos, local police) adversely impacted the covert nature of the operation. It made detection easier.
  • Strategic Challenges:
    • There has been no meaningful policy review of the IS (internal security) challenge. However, LWE was recognized as the most important security challenge by the PM in 2005.
    • Further, there has been ignorance of Kargil review committee (1999) recommendations that show a deficiency in higher IS management.
      • The committee desired the restructuring of command, control, and leadership functions of paramilitary forces in situations of proxy war and large-scale terrorism.
      • Till date, many police officers inducted into leadership positions into paramilitary forces. They have good training to maintain law and order. However, they lack the skill set to manage an insurgent operation which results in grave tragedies like the recent Bastar attack.
Way Forward:
  • A detailed investigation should be carried out to find out the real reason behind the tragedy.
  • There is a need to enhance cooperation between center and state government in the security domain. This will prevent such grave attacks in the future.
  • The political leadership of the country must realize its responsibility towards internal security challenges. They must inculcate a will to revamp the capacity of security personnel and usher in the desired reforms.
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