Francis Induwar,an inspector in the Special Branch of the Jharkhand Police,had gone to Hembram market in Khunti,barely 85 km from Jamshedpur,on the afternoon of September 30; there,in full view of shocked shoppers,a number of men overpowered him,beat him up,and dragged him away. And now news comes that Induwars body has been recovered from Raisha Ghati,12 km from Ranchi. He had been beheaded.
We are being told that the Maoists of Indias hinterland are learning from the Taliban. That misses the point. We are so accustomed to shaking our heads in concern about how close the Taliban have come to Pakistan and Afghanistans cities,how many kilometres away they are from Indias borders; where is the similar outrage,the horror that our own home-grown nihilists are striking with impunity at government officers 12 km from the centre of a state capital? Or in broad daylight,in a crowded market,steps from a police station? Where is the condemnation,the warlike anger at the murderousness of those who would behead a hostage,who would hold to ransom the lives and livelihoods of the worlds poorest people till the backward-looking and barbaric tenets of the faith they call an ideology are satisfied? The time for equivocation is past. These are terrible people who do terrible things,there are no redeeming qualities to the thuggery they call a movement,and we need to stop pretending otherwise.
Some will say that Inspector Induwar was murdered because the government did not consider a prisoner swap of the inspector for three of their arrested leaders,including Kobad Ghandy. (Who is currently busy telling a court that he isnt a Naxalite at all.) Home Minister P. Chidambaram has correctly shot down this sort of foolish rationalisation: Ghandy is held by the duly constituted legal authority,subject to the courts,whereas Induwar was abducted by murderous outlaws. Talk of swaps,and you begin legitimising Maoist violence. Let Francis Induwars senseless death mean this much: the soft sympathy towards Maoists means and ends must be discredited. There is nothing good about the violence,nothing natural about the barbarity,nothing laudable about the ends. Supposed intellectuals whose fuzzy half-informed pronouncements defend any of those need to be engaged with to show how empty is their reasoning.