14 March 2006

Maoists In India

Anne Zook only had time to hit this in passing. But, this does deserve a mention. India. You know, the democratic country next to undemocratic Pakistan. Our President recently visited India. International news junkies have known that it has problems with nationalist Kashmiri rebels for a long time. But, this is the first time I've heard about the issue of Maoist rebels, which are a huge issue for neighboring Nepal which is fighting a bloody civil war with them, in India. (The even bigger issue is whether Maoist is, or is not, code for Chinese supported). And, this isn't just a minor matter.

[R]ailway official in the eastern state of Jharkhand said the driver of a cargo train passing through the Latehar district of the state reported that his train and another passenger train had come under attack from the Maoist rebels.

The official, Divisional Railway Manager AK Shukla, said the cargo train had managed to escape but efforts to contact the passenger train had failed. There were between 200 and 250 people travelling on the passenger train, Shukla said, although it was uncertain if they were being held by the rebels or if they had been set free.

The CNN-IBN television news station reported that the train’s driver and a guard had been taken hostage by the insurgents. Police had been dispatched to the district, about 1,200 kms southeast of New Delhi, said KK Sone, the top official in Latehar, a relatively inaccessible part of India. Shukla said the train had left a station at the town of Gharha at around 7 pm and had been expected to make its next stop about two hours later but never arrived.

Also, while I'm not generally a big fan of the domestic use of military force, I'd sure hate to be the cop dispatched to handled the kidnapping by rebel forces at gunpoint of a train with two hundred people on it. Do you call in a SWAT team for that? I wonder what radio code it has?


Vijay said...

Good anaylsis



Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Related news on another Maoist attack in India can be found here.