Holding entire village responsible in case a villager is found to be supporting Naxals as well as slapping a collective fine and curfew on all of its residents are some of the measures to deal with Naxalism suggested by Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, in his article in the latest issue of the Indian Police Journal, a quarterly publication of the Bureau for Police Research and Development.
The article, in which Singh refers to Maoists as “snakes”, was published in the January-March issue and is titled ‘Fire In Forest — Tackling Maoist Menace’. In a section titled ‘Population Control Measures’, Singh talks about restricting movement of Maoist cadres and separating them from the general population.
“Extremist and public movements should be regulated through the institution of collective responsibility,” writes the police commissioner, going on to add that the entire village should be held responsible if one among them hosts extremists, attends a Maoist meeting or helps them by blocking roads.
“A collective fine for all the village residents or curfew for two days may be thought of. Alternatively, the village sarpanch, police patil and other village elders should be punished,” the article states.
In a three-point “formula for police”, Singh calls Naxals snakes “to be driven out or neutralised”, and says: “This principle may sound to some as violative of animal or human rights. But..almost everyone, except the sickly and coward, believe in it.”
The section ends saying, “Should security agencies wait for their attack or should they go all out in search of them? When there is a question of killing or being killed, who would prefer to be killed instead of taking the other’s life?” Singh could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.
The police chief adds that pumping of lakhs of rupees had not lessened the Maoist problem or helped the administration win over locals.
“The locals are not with the administration and we should admit it. Even their passive neutrality is advantageous to Maoist militants and an obstacle for security agencies. Building roads, bridges and electrification of villages, where our 70-80 per cent budget is being spent, has shown little improvement in the quality of life of locals,” the article states.
Among his suggestions to tackle Naxalism, Singh offers recruitment in the district police. “If an offer is given by the government that all cadres who surrender will be recruited in the district police, I am sure half the