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Internal Security

Left Wing Extremism (LWE)

  • 22 Jul 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Left Wing Extremism, Security Related Expenditure (SRE).

For Mains: Left Wing Extremism, Government Policies & Interventions

Why in News?

Recently, during question hour in Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Home Affairs provided data related to left extremism in India.

What are the Key Data Facts?

  • The incidents of Naxal violence in the country have dropped by 77 % between 2009 and 2021, and deaths of security force personnel due to Maoist violence have more than doubled in Chhattisgarh in the past three years.
  • Similarly, the resultant deaths (civilians + security forces) have reduced by 85 % from an all-time high of 1,005 in 2010 to 147 in 2021.
  • In states, Chhattisgarh tops the countrywide figure for deaths of security personnel, as it accounted for 90% of all security personnel deaths in the country, followed by Jharkhand which recorded 5 personnel deaths.
  • There has been a decrease in the geographical spread of violence as only 46 districts reported LWE-related violence in 2021, compared to 96 districts in 2010.
    • Due to this, there has been a reduction in the number of districts covered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme from 126 to 90 in 2018 and further to 70 in 2021.
    • Similarly, the number of districts generating almost 90% of LWE violence, classified as the most LWE-affected districts, decreased from 35 in 2018 to 30 in 2021.

What is Left-wing Extremism?

  • About:
    • LWE organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at the ground level.
    • These groups prevent the developmental processes in the least developed regions of the country & try to misguide the people by keeping them ignorant of current happenings.
  • Reasons:
    • Tribal discontent:
      • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 deprives tribals, who depend on forest produce for their living, from even cutting a bark.
      • Massive displacement of tribal population in the naxalism-affected states due to development projects, mining operations and other reasons.
    • Easy Target for Maoists: Such people who do not have any source of living are taken into naxalism by Maoists.
      • Maoists provide arms and ammunitions and money to such people.
    • Gaps in the socio-economic system of the country.
      • Government measuring its success on the basis of number of violent attacks rather than the development done in the naxal-affected areas.
      • Absence of strong technical intelligence to fight with Naxalites.
      • Infrastructural problems, for instance, some villages are not yet connected properly with any communication network.
    • No Follow-Up from administration: It is seen that even after police takes hold of a region, administration fails to provide essential services to the people of that region.
    • Confusion over tackling naxalism as a social issue or as a security threat.
    • State governments considering naxalism as the central government’s issue and thus are not taking any initiatives to fight it.

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
  • The national strategy to counter LWE was formed in 2015 as a multipronged approach to combat LWE. Its main aim was to ensure participatory governance and protection of the rights of local tribals, inter alia.
  • Intelligence sharing and raising of a separate 66 Indian Reserved Battalion (IRBs) was done by the government to curb the menace of LWE organizations.
  • 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 Ministry of Home Affairs (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.
    • Several development initiatives have been implemented for construction of roads, installation of mobile towers, skill development, improving network of banks and post offices, health and education facilities.
    • Funds for development are also provided to most LWE affected districts under the Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme.
  • Greyhounds: It was raised in 1989 as an elite anti-naxal force.
  • Operation Green Hunt: It was started in 2009-10 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas.

Way Forward

  • The government needs innovative solutions for locating armed groups in the thick forests of the naxalism-affected regions.
  • Local Police know the language and topography of a region, they can fight naxalism better than the armed forces.
    • Andhra Police rose ‘Greyhounds’, special forces to deal with naxalism in the state.
  • Government needs to ensure two things, security of the peace-loving people and the development of the naxalism-affected regions.
  • State governments need to understand that naxalism is their problem also and only they can tackle it effectively. They can get help from central government if required.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


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, discussthe corrective strategies needed to win the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) doctrine affected citizens back into mainstream of social and economic growth. (2015)

Q. Article 244 of the Indian Constitution relates to administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas. Analyse the impact of non-implementation of the provisions of the Fifth schedule on the growth of Left-wing extremism. (2018)

Q. What are the determinants of left-wing extremism in Eastern part of India? What strategy should the Government of India, civil administration and security forces adopt to counter the threat in the affected areas? (2020)

Source: IE

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