‘Bullet-For-Bullet Policy Has Failed Miserably’: This Is What Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel Said On Maoist Terrorism In 2018
Baghel, who is considered close to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, said he was ‘not interested’ in the ‘figures of encounters and body counts of Naxals’.
In December 2018, soon after assuming office as the new chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel said the policy of “bullet-for-bullet” had failed in dealing with the Maoist problem in the state.
“If this problem was to be solved by blazing guns, it would have been solved during Raman Singh's 15-year rule. The policy of bullet-for-bullet has failed miserably and it's time to give a new thought to the issue,” Baghel told the Times of India.
The Congress leader, who is considered close to United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, said he was 'not interested' in the 'figures of encounters and body counts of Naxals' but in 'dialogue' with all stakeholders.
Sonia Gandhi headed the National Advisory Council or the “super cabinet” during the UPA rule, and some of its members were accused of being sympathetic to the Maoists and advocated a softer approach to deal with the issue.
The Chief Minister, the Times of India said in the same report, believes that the three-decades-old Maoist insurgency is a “socio-economic and political issue”.
“...the [Chhattisgarh] CM said it would be a mistake to assume that deployment of more forces, intensifying encounters and counting of bodies are indications of successfully countering the rebel problem,” the report says.
Baghel said he would initiate a dialogue on the issue “with the affected people”. “Intellectuals” and “right activists” are among those who have been affected by the conflict, the Chief Minister added.
“Bastar's original nature is to live independently and its people prefer to live in the lap of nature, without any hassles. But the situation has completely changed now and suspicion and fear has crept into the minds of locals,” Baghel told TOI.
In what was seen as an effort to play down the disastrous effects of left-wing terror in the state, especially in the Bastar division, the Chief Minister had said in August 2019 that malnutrition was a bigger threat than the Maoists.
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