Seeking to dry up support for the Maoists in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday told tribals that all top Naxal leaders were from “outside” and that they have been using “innocent people” to spearhead their movement. He said tribals do not need to “take up weapons” and join the Naxals to secure their rights.
Speaking at a public event in Bijapur, the worst Naxal-affected district in India, the Prime Minister invoked B R Ambedkar and said he had “given us the Constitution and ensured the protection of your rights. You do not need to pick up weapons...ruin your lives.”
“Just look at the leaders spearheading the (Naxal) movement in the region,” Modi said, addressing the parents of those who have joined the Left-wing extremism. “No leader (among Naxal outfits active in Bastar) was among from them, not one from the region... no one was born here. Look at their names and surnames, you will understand that they come from outside and use the innocent people.”
Top (Naxal) leaders had taken shelter in forests in the area and secured themselves while pushing the local youths to face security personnel and die, he said. “Why are the villagers are giving rights to them (Naxalites)... to kill your children?”
“We need to trudge down the road marked for development and ensure better education and health facilities,” he added.
The scathing attack by the Prime Minister is learnt to be part of a new strategy against the Red terror to convince villagers to revolt against the rebels. But, he is cautious with the new plan as he clearly underlined not to take up the arms given the controversy over the Salwa Judum — a civil militia against the Naxals.