With seven murders of cadres belonging to the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in three incidents in as many years, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala is setting a dubious record of annihilation of political opponents that states like Chhattisgarh and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, known for police actions to wipe out the Naxalite menace, have for long practiced.
But there is a crucial difference in the nature of the menace: the terror belt that covers the vast tribal regions in east and central India have witnessed many attacks on the part of the Maoists against the forces of the state, which took the form of a long-standing contest for power and control between the two. But in Kerala, the Maoists have never launched any such attacks on the state forces and, in fact, they have maintained through their public statements that they were involved only in political campaigns and no militant actions.
It is a fact that Naxalite groups have been active in the tribal regions in the northern parts of Kerala, especially the forest belt from Wayanad to Palakkad where all the three recent incidents have taken place. All encounters have been carried out by the members of Thunderbolt force of the Kerala police, set up during the regime of the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government. Surprisingly, the present LDF government under Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, appears to have decided to continue the same policies of repression without any review of the violent nature of the incidents and the public condemnation of them.