To fight Maoist insurgency has never been easy for security forces as they face several odds. Lack of political will, hostile terrain, haphazard deployment, inadequate co-ordination between civil police and security forces and poor intelligence sharing are some of them.
“To top them all is, however, some of the judicial pronouncements, making them to remain on the back foot in their operations,” rued official sources.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court had, on February 6, 2009, passed a direction making it mandatory to register an FIR against police personnel for causing the death of a person in the discharge of duties irrespective of the circumstances.
Likewise, an order by the Calcutta High Court on August 8, 2012 directed the government to treat some of the arrested banned CPI (ML) activists as ‘political prisoners.’
Even though both directions were stayed by the Supreme Court, it had a telling effect on the morale of the security forces, they said.
In the Andhra Pradesh case, the Centre had filed an affidavit apprehending that “if the judgment comes to be universally applied in all cases of exchange of fire resulting in the death of an insurgent or militant, the natural reaction of all security force personnel would be to disengage and retreat, to avoid a prolonged criminal investigation and trial in their private capacities.”
It had claimed that the order would have “terrible consequences for national security.”
“If the principle laid down in the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court is accepted, in the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, Ajmal Kasab, as the only surviving terrorist, would have had the statutory right to get a criminal case registered against the police/National Security Guard officials involved in the operations who would have to defend their cases in their private capacities,” the government had said.