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The Anti-Maoist Greyhound Force

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September 13, 2022

Why in news?

Despite contributing to the shrinking red zone, the elite anti-Maoist Greyhounds force has no base and training centre in its own home – Andhra Pradesh.

How did the armed struggle begin in Andhra?

  • Telangana Rebellion- The seed of the armed struggle was sown by the Telangana Rebellion of 1946 in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.
  • The peasant movement led by communist leaders rebelled against the feudal lords of the Telangana region in the princely State of Hyderabad.
  • The armed struggle ended in 1951, when the last of the guerilla squads was subdued by police force.
  • Srikakulam movement- The Srikakulam movement that began in 1967 inspired leaders such as Kondapalli Seetharamaiah and K.G. Satyamurthi in the early 1980s.
  • The movement grew in parts of Telangana due to oppression by feudal landlords and attempts by zamindars to take over lands from tribals.
  • Andhra Pradesh is one of the red corridor states that is under the influence of Left Wing Extremists (LWE) or Maoists.

redcorridor

Who are Greyhounds?

Octopus (Organisation for Counter Terrorist Operations) is another elite counter terrorism unit of the Andhra Pradesh police.

  • The Greyhounds is an elite anti-Maoist force raised in 1989 by IPS officer K.S. Vyas to combat the growing Maoist threat in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The members are well-trained in guerilla and jungle warfare.
  • Members of the force cannot be over 35 years.
  • Once they cross 35, they are drafted into the civil police until retirement.
  • This special police force became the root cause for the downfall of Left Wing Extremism in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It also inspired to create other similar forces to fight the Maoists.

Other Anti- Maoist Forces

Odisha- Special Operations Group

Maharashtra - C-60

West Bengal - Counter Insurgency Force.

Chhattisgarh - CoBRA battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force

What is the issue now?

  • The issue started after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
  • As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the men and material of Greyhounds were to be shared by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • Since the training centres of the Greyhounds were located in Hyderabad, the Act specified that Andhra Pradesh would have to set up its own base and training centre.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet gave its nod for the establishment of a full-fledged training centre-cum-residential facility but there is no progress due t0 rehabilitation and resettlement issues.

What are the effects of Left wing extremism (LWE)?

  • Frequent skirmishes have affected the security forces.
  • It has left many tribal civilians caught in the crossfire.
  • Human rights’ violations were reported in naxal prone areas.
  • It has added to the alienation among the poor in these areas.
  • It also has its effect on the government exchequer.
  • LWE widened the backwardness in terms of social and economic development.
  • It affected the democratic setup by hindering the elections.

How can the issue be tackled?

  • Tribal empowerment- Empowerment of tribal people and civil society activists to promote peace in these areas.
  • Utilizing the surrendered- Surrendered LWE cadre should be used for intelligence collection to the maximum possible.
  • Extension of welfare measures- The country’s best weapon against ultras is extending the welfare state to areas it hasn’t quite reached.
  • Retaining the faith in democracy- The government must act continually in winning over the support of tribals and retain their faith in the liberal democratic institutions of the state.

 

References

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/greyhounds-in-search-of-home-in-andhra-pradesh/article65879250.ece
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/when-greyhounds-struck-in-andhra-pradeshs-fading-red-zone/article61810143.ece
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