UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis| Stinging indictment | 20th July 2022

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  • What is the article about
    • The scapegoating of innocent tribals in the fight against Maoists. The UAPA Act.
  • Relevance:
    • GSIII: Internal Security: LWE
  • About:
    • The acquittal of 121 tribal by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, who were wrongfully held responsible for the deaths of 25 Central Reserve Police Force jawans in a Maoistled ambush in Burkapal, Sukma district, Chhattisgarh in 2017,would have come as a huge relief for them.
    • The tribals were held under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
    • The tribals who had been arrested and kept in jail for five years had been denied bail in the past by the NIA court and the Chhattisgarh High Court.
      Clearly, in what seems to be a dubious trend in such cases in conflict ridden Chhattisgarh and beyond, the imposition of the draconian UAPA without sufficient proof has resulted in this situation.
  • Analysis:
    • As a takeaway from the outcome of this case, the state must ponder as to whether this strategy of rounding up suspects among the hapless tribals in the name of swift action following a military setback does any good to law enforcement.
    • The clearest way to defeat the Maoist insurgency— or any political movement based on violence and motivated by disenchantment with the state—is to uphold the rule of law and to win support among the people who the insurgents claim to be fighting for. Without popular support, insurgencies are bound to fail.
  • Way forward:
    • By typecasting the tribal people, conflating dissidence and disaffection with insurgency, and taking the dubious route of mass incarceration following any setback to the security forces, law enforcement agencies only end up adding grist to the Maoist propaganda that emphasises that these are just characteristics of a repressive state that is beyond reform.
      Besides purposive socioeconomic action, law enforcement must reinforce steps related to procedural law to disprove the Maoist critique of the Indian state and to retain legitimacy among tribal citizens.



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