Operation Greenhunt, the UPA government’s branded effort to quell the challenge posed by “the gravest internal security threat”, i.e. the Maoists, has suffered its biggest humiliation, yet, with the dastardly slaying of 74 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a lone head constable of the Chhatisgarh police.
The attack came just days after the Harvard-educated lawyer-home minister P. Chidamabaram called the Naxals “cowards” and reminded the West Bengal government about where the “buck” stops. And it comes a couple of months after he and the naxals had publicly exchanged phone and fax numbers.
The attack takes the sheen off Chidambaram’s aggressive, “hot-pursuit” approach that has come in for much praise from the urban media (and the BJP), as opposed to a slow, measured, all-things-considered approach, and it poses a big question mark on the man many believe is positioning himself to replace Manmohan Singh if push comes to shove.
The high price paid by the jawans implementing Chidambaram’s act-first-think-later approach, which also triggered off the Telegana mess, also raises questions about the “CEO of the war”, as author Arundhati Roy has dubbed him, because he is alleged to be fighting a proxy war for his former corporate clients.
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Photograph: courtesy The Hindu