Chief Secretary Tom Jose in an article called Maoists as terrorists and said they do not enjoy the same human rights as others.

Kerala Chief Secy pens article justifying encounter of Maoists faces oppositionTom Jose, PC/Facebook
news Controversy Tuesday, November 05, 2019 - 14:58

A day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Maoists cannot be portrayed as innocent lambs, the Chief Secretary of the state in an unusual gesture has written an article justifying the killing of four alleged Maoists in the state.

Writing in ToI, Chief Secretary Tom Jose has argued that there is no rationale in saying that Maoists have got the same human rights as normal citizens.

“There is no rationale in stating that Maoists who indulge in armed conflict have the same human rights and privileges as normal citizens. Not only that it cuts at the very root of the principles we live by, but also mocks and insults the ordinary people who go about their daily lives obeying the laws of the society,” the Chief Secretary wrote in the article titled, ‘It is like war: Kill or be Killed.’

The bureaucrat further justified the ‘encounter’ and termed Maoists as ‘terrorists’. “People who resort to violence to achieve political objectives and put civilians in harm’s way in the process can be called as terrorists. As such, people who engage in armed combat against a democratically elected government causing harm to innocent citizens are terrorists. Such behaviour should not be condoned based on any ideology or philosophy,” he wrote.

The Left government has been facing massive criticism for the killing of the four people in Agali. The CPI(M)’s ally, CPI has said that the encounters were staged and the police had killed the four before itself.

Ever since the LDF government came to power in 2016, seven people suspected to be Maoists have been killed in operations by the Thunderbolt commandos, an elite anti-naxal force.

The Chief Secretary has also compared the fight against Maoists to the armed forces fighting enemies at the border. “Our security forces are engaged in asymmetrical warfare with Maoists. Jungle warfare by its very nature is asymmetrical. It is either kill or be killed. When our soldiers fight our enemies across the border, we don’t portray them in bad light. We applaud them. Then why blame our police forces when all they do is to protect the citizens from Maoist terrorists?”

This article, especially at a time when the assembly is in session has created further controversy. The CPI has called it a clear misuse of power.

“It is inappropriate for a Chief Secretary to write this, it amounts to misuse of power. His views that Maoists don't have the rights of a normal human being is even against the Supreme Court guidelines. In PUCL (People's Union for Civil Liberties) versus state of Maharashtra the SC had issued 16 guidelines and right to life with human dignity is one among them," CPI state assistant Secretary K Prakash Babu told TNM.

Political critic NM Pierson says that the article is against the code of conduct of bureaucrats. “I believe that the article has come out as a result of conspiracy between the government and bureaucrats. Even the words like war must not be his. Where is a war like situation in Kerala? The government is trying to build up support for the killings,” he said.

Also Read: Why a Kerala woman was arrested for abandoning her baby, despite ‘cradle baby scheme’

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