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Left Wing Extremism in Chhattisgarh

  • 28 Apr 2023
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: Left-wing extremism (LWE), Tactical Counter Offensive Campaigns (TCOCs), SAMADHAN Doctrine, Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Greyhounds, Operation Green Hunt.

For Mains: Left-wing extremism (LWE), causes, associated challenges and government initiative to tackle it.

Why In News?

Recently, ten personnel of the Chhattisgarh Police’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the civilian driver of their vehicle were reported killed in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attack by Maoists in the state’s Dantewada district.

  • The attack has took place in Chhattisgarh after more than 2 years when 22 security forces personnel were killed by Maoists in April 2021.

What is Left-wing Extremism?

  • About:
    • Left-wing extremism (LWE) is a political ideology that advocates for radical socialist, communist, or anarchist ideas and is characterized by the use of violence and terrorism as a means of achieving its goals.
    • It often involves opposition to capitalism, imperialism, and the established political and social order, and seeks to establish a revolutionary socialist or communist state.
  • Targets:
    • LWE groups may target government institutions, law enforcement agencies, or private property to further their agenda.
      • LWE is often opposed by governments and law enforcement agencies, who view it as a threat to national security and stability.

What is the LWE Situation in Chhattisgarh?

  • Chhattisgarh is the only state in India where Maoists continue to have a significant presence and retain the capability to mount big attacks.
    • In the last 5 years (2018-22), Chhattisgarh has accounted for more than 1/3rd of all Maoist-related violence and had a share of 70%-90% of total deaths due to same.
  • Chhattisgarh continues to remain troubled. Through the active involvement of state police in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand, the states were able to end their Maoist problem.
    • However, this process of eradicating LWE has started comparatively late in Chhattisgarh and by the time, the police of neighbouring states had already pushed Maoists from their states to Chhattisgarh, making it a concentrated zone of Maoist influence.
  • The absence of roads, connectivity and infrastructure and minimal presence of the administration in Bastar has ensured that Maoists continue to have influence in the region and enjoy local support through a mix of fear and goodwill.

What is the Current LWE Situation in the Country?

  • According to the government, Maoist violence in the country has gone down by 77% since 2010.
    • As per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) the number of resultant deaths (security forces + civilians) has come down by 90% from the all-time high of 1,005 in 2010 to 98 in 2022.
  • The influence of Maoists and associated violence has been falling consistently in the country because of multiple factors:
    • A stronger push by security forces in Maoist strongholds.
    • Roads and civic amenities reach the interior to a greater extent than earlier.
    • A general disenchantment with the Maoist ideology among the youth, which has deprived the insurgent movement of new leadership.

What are the Government Initiatives to Control LWE?

  • SAMADHAN doctrine is the one-stop solution for the LWE problem. It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels. SAMADHAN stands for:
    • S- Smart Leadership
    • A- Aggressive Strategy
    • M- Motivation and Training
    • A- Actionable Intelligence
    • D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas)
    • H- Harnessing Technology
    • A- Action plan for each Theatre
    • N- No access to Financing
  • National Policy and Action Plan in 2015: It consists of a multi-pronged approach comprising security measures, development initiatives and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities.
    • The MHA is supporting the State Governments extensively by way of deployment of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) Battalions, provision of helicopters and UAVs and sanction of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs)/ Special India Reserve Battalions (SIRBs) etc.
    • Funds are provided under Modernization of Police Force (MPF), Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) for modernization and training of State Police.
    • Funds for development are also provided to most LWE affected districts under the Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme: Aspirational Districts Programme launched in 2018, aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
  • Greyhounds: Greyhounds was raised in 1989 as an elite anti-naxal force.
  • Operation Green Hunt: Operation Green Hunt was started in 2009-10 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas.
  • Bastariya Battalion: In Chhattisgarh, the CRPF raised a Bastariya Battalion the recruits for which were taken from the local population, who knew the language and terrain, and could generate intelligence.
    • This unit now has 400 recruits and regularly conducts operations in Chhattisgarh.

What are the Challenges in Tackling LWE?

  • Wide Geographic Spread: LWE groups operate in remote and inaccessible areas; dense forests, hilly terrains, and where there is lack of proper infrastructure making it challenging for security forces to track them down.
  • Support of Local Communities: LWE groups often enjoy the support of local communities who feel neglected and marginalized by the government.
  • Lack of Development: LWE affected areas are often underdeveloped, with inadequate access to basic amenities which creates fertile ground for extremist ideologies.
  • Political Support: LWE groups often have the support of certain political parties and leaders, who use them for their own interests making it challenging for the government to take a strong stance against them without risking political backlash.

Way Forward

  • Socio-Economic Development: The government needs to focus on improving socio-economic conditions in areas affected by left wing extremism such as investing in infrastructure, creating employment opportunities, and providing better access to education and healthcare.
  • Targeted Security Operations: The security forces need to conduct targeted operations against LWE groups, using intelligence-based approaches and avoiding collateral damage.
  • Rehabilitation and Reintegration: The government needs to provide rehabilitation and reintegration support to former extremists who have renounced violence by providing them with education, training, employment as well as psychosocial support.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. The persisting drives of the government for development of large industries in backward areas have resulted in isolating the tribal population and the farmers who face multiple displacements. With Malkangiri and Naxalbari foci, discuss the corrective strategies needed to win the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) doctrine that affected citizens back into the mainstream of social and economic growth. (2015)

Source: IE

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