Naxal Threat: Maharashtra plans to replicate the Chhattisgarh model

MUMBAI: the police are following a three-year proposal to present a new law to address Naxalism. The immediate provocation is the death of 15 police officers last year in an explosion in Gadchiroli. In the past five years, Naxals has killed 23 police officers in the state, while 199 Naxals have been arrested and 181 have surrendered.

The senior police officers had a meeting with the state Interior Minister, Eknath Shinde, where they discussed the introduction of a new law in line with the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Law. All crimes under this Law, promulgated in 2005, are recognizable and cannot be subject to bail. It gives the police broad powers of detention and arrest, and has been criticized by human rights activists. For example, arrested individuals range from journalists to ration shop owners. Most controversial is that they include a pediatrician-cum activist (see chart).

State police officers believe that the proposed law will be a deterrent to Naxal's activities. “MCOCA was brought to paralyze gangsterism in Maharashtra. It successfully curbed the threat of crime unions. A law on the MCOCA model was adopted by Gujarat and several other states. Similarly, we can also adopt the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Law model for Maharashtra, an official said. He said that such a law would help to better investigate sources of financing, Naxal logistics and the supply of weapons.

Human rights activists and legal experts differ. Lead lawyer Mihir Desai said there are already enough laws in Maharashtra to take care of law and order, and the safety of people. “Therefore, there seems to be no reason, urgent or otherwise, to bring any additional law for public safety at this time. Any of those laws, if passed, would be prone to misuse, as Chhattisgarh's law has been. The superior court of Chhattisgarh confirmed the law on the subject of its constitutional validity and not on its possible misuse. ”

The Naxals in the state are currently reserved under the strict Illegal Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). In Maharashtra, the districts most affected by Naxalism are Gadchiroli and Gondia. Chandrapur, Bhandara and some part of Nanded are also affected. An IPS official who worked in Gadchiroli said a new law dedicated to operations against Naxal would help to better curb the threat. The proposal for a new law may have greater scope to address Naxalism in terms of a broader strategy for police security, combat Naxal terrorism and related issues. He refused to say more about the matter and said: It would be too soon. comment unless we know exactly what is proposed.