A big Naxal neutralization in Jharkhand

Budheshwar Oraon- the infamous Naxalite and an important member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has been killed in Operation Chakravyuh by the CRPF (COBRA), Jharkhand Jaguar (special task force to tackle Maoists) and the Gumla police. Budheshwar carried a reward of Rs.15 Lakhs on him and had his hands stained in a lot of Maoist cases.

Budheshwar had 109 cases against him in various police stations like Simdega, Lohardaga, Garhwa and Latehar in Jharkhand. He was also the prime convict behind the death of 5 police officers at Chainpur police station. Apart from this, various police officers and Central Forces Jawans have lost their lives in the Naxal activities led by him.

This entire Operation Chakravyuh started after Vishwajeet Kumbhakar- a dog handler from the CRPF got injured in an IED attack in Kochgani forests of Jharkhand. The dog named Drona lost its life in the same attack. It is interesting to note that the key player behind this entire operation to neutralize these Maoists has been another dog named Happy who belonged to the same COBRA wing of the CRPF.  Happy led the forces to the same Kochgani jungle where Budheshwar got killed after nearly an hour long face-off. However, other Naxalites named Ranthu Oraon, Lazim Ansari, etc. managed to escape. They too have a heavy amount on their heads as reward and the authorities are constantly working to neutralize their activities.

Jharkhand for long has been a den for such Maoist activities. Being dominantly a Tribal area and having large forest areas provide ample opportunities to these Naxals to carry on with their bloodshed and violence. After this Operation, the SP of Gumla Hrudeep P Janardhanan informed that many villages around the rural areas in the state have laid IEDs which not only put the lives of the men in uniform at risk but also create problems for the local tribal people.

Last year itself, around 121 Naxal activities took place that cost the lives of about 21 civilians in the state. However, a silver lining to this is the fact that more than double of this number of Maoists have been arrested and are facing trials of various levels.

The state of Jharkhand suffers the ‘resource curse’. A state which is one of the richest in natural resources ranging from minerals to forests to rivers and is endowed with a dynamic tribal population that could prove to be human assets for the country has little opportunities for a better life and livelihood. It has one of the largest numbers of people below the Poverty Line and unemployment, lack of education, inadequate healthcare has limited the rural population to a lifestyle that lags much behind the advancements made by the rest of the country. Added to these is the political atmosphere that clings more to separatism and identity politics of ‘Mool-waasi’ (natives) and ‘Bahari’ (outsiders) instead of development.

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A state formed in the year 2000 after getting separated from Bihar lags much behind Uttarakhand that formed in the same year. It even stands behind Chhattisgarh in many developmental indicators which too got separated from Madhya Pradesh in 2000. Thus, it is prime time that the state and central Government come in unison to take Jharkhand out of its socio-economic conditions. Also, the security forces could be given free hand under certain regulations in the areas burdened by the Maoist activities. Only a well-planned short-term and long-term vision can prevent the innocent Tribal population from being entrapped by anti-national forces, the masters of which lead luxurious lives themselves. While genuine enlightenment and empowerment need to be long-term priorities for the governance, curbing bloodshed with an iron-fist like in the Operation Chakravyuh is what needs to be done at this hour.


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