Umar Fayaz, an army officer, was an exceptional sports man, known for his hockey and volleyball skills. He would have led a normal life, had the terrorists not kidnapped him from his relative’s wedding function and riddled his body with bullets. His was not the first story from the Valley, which had been witnessing bloodshed for quite some time. But, while his story and that of the other brave martyrs have been highlighted and talked about at length, in the eastern corners of the country, another form of extremism is slowly gaining ground.
Last month, 26 military personnel were killed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. What was worse was women members even mutilated the bodies of a few personnel. In another incident in March, 12 CRPF personnel were killed and four others injured in a Naxal attack. Besides, they also took huge cache of arms and two sets of radio. In another deadly attack in 2013, 27 congress leaders including former minister Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nanda Kumar Patel were killed when the Red Rebels attacked a convoy of Indian National Congress leaders in the Darbha Valley of Chhattisgarh.
Many gruesome killings of this sort have occurred in the last few years. As per a report, since 2004, 4000 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans have been martyred in Naxal attacks.
Though after the recent Sukma incident, the Central Government had deployed additional forces for combing operations, the Red threat still looms large.
Every year, the Central Government spends crores of rupees in anti-naxal operations. In the last three years the State and Centre has spent Rs 2.96 cr in Bastar region alone.
Report says, in 2014-15, the Government has spent 1.74 cr in anti-Naxal operations while the amount was 1.29 crore in 2015-16. However, so far, the extremism and brutal killings have not ceased.
Just as terrorism, Red Rebel extremism is gaining ground by the day and there is a need to contain it now, more than ever. Precious lives are being lost and it is high time the issue is looked beyond monetary allocations to some real action. For, Naxalism is equally a serious issue like terrorism.