Recently, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed anguish at the continuing violence in the Junglemahal area of the state where Maoists continue to terrorize the local people.
This newspaper had written much earlier— when she wanted central paramilitary forcesremoved from that area and “talks” with them—that this course would lead either to more violence on the part of the Maoists or the reassertion of government authority. Clearly, that point is not far off. It does not require administrative experience to realize that men (or women, for that matter) with guns seldom want to talk peace. Yet, our administrators have for long harboured the illusion that “talks” can make terrorists give up guns. That has seldom succeeded and certainly never in case of an ideology that believes in violence for the sake of violence. It is time Operation Green Hunt was launched in Junglemahal.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Photo: Bloomberg