India Deploys drones (UAVs) Against Maoist/Naxalite Rebels

March 23, 2012 by The Editor, UAS Vision

The Indian government said on Tuesday that it has begun using unmanned aircraft in Naxal-affected areas of the country. “Yes, madam,” Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

The minister, however, said, “It is too early to make an assessment on the effectiveness of unmanned aircraft deployed in Left-wing extremism-affected areas.” The biggest threat to the general election does not come from terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir with their Kalashnikovs and rocket-launchers.

It is the spectre of Maoist violence that is worrying security agencies. Thousands of central and state security personnel will be stretched to their limit during the election as they fight a cat and mouse game with men and women who still swear by the dream of proletariat rule. Maoist or Naxalite violence is of serious concern in 12 of India’s biggest states.

The Naxalites, also sometimes called the Naxals, is a loose term used to define groups waging a violent struggle on behalf of landless labourers and tribal people against landlords and others. The Naxalites say they are fighting oppression and exploitation to create a classless society. Their opponents say the Naxalites are terrorists oppressing people in the name of a class war.

Last year Naxalites accounted for nearly 88 percent of organised violence and killings in the country. Who do they represent? The Naxalites claim to represent the most oppressed people in India, those who are often left untouched by India’s development and bypassed by the electoral process. Invariably, they are the Adivasis, Dalits, and the poorest of the poor, who work as landless labourers for a pittance, often below India’s mandated minimum wages.

Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are the worst affected; Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are partially affected.

Source: News 24

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