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Internal Security

Maoist Attack in Sukma

  • 05 Apr 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

A team of security forces was attacked by a People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) unit in the Tarrem area near the Sukma-Bijapur district border, Chhattisgarh. Several security personnel were killed and many were injured.

Key Points

  • About the Sukma District:
    • Located in the southern tip of the state of Chhattisgarh, the district was carved out of Dantewada in the year 2012.
    • It is covered with the semi-tropical forest and is a mainland of tribal community Gond.
    • One major river that flows through the district is Sabari (a tributary of Godavari river).
    • Over a few decades, this region has become a fostering ground for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities.
      • Uneven terrains and the tricky geographic locations made this region a safer hideout for the LWE activists.
  • Left Wing Extremism in India:
    • Left-wing extremists, popularly known as Maoists worldwide and as Naxalites in India.
    • The term Naxalism derives its name from the village Naxalbari of West Bengal. It originated as a rebellion against local landlords who bashed a peasant over a land dispute.
      • The rebellion was initiated in 1967, with an objective of rightful redistribution of the land to working peasants under the leadership of Kanu Sanyal and Jagan Santhal.
    • The movement has spread across the Eastern India in less developed areas of states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
    • It is considered that Naxals support Maoist political sentiments and ideology.
      • Maoism is a form of communism developed by Mao Tse Tung. It is a doctrine to capture State power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization and strategic alliances.
  • Reasons for Left Wing Extremism:
    • Tribal Discontent:
      • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 has been used to target tribals, who depend on forest produce for their living.
      • 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 ammunition and money to such people.
    • Gaps in the Socio-Economic system of the Country:
      • Government measures its success on the basis of the 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 take 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.
  • Government Initiatives to Fight LWE:
    • 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.
    • LWE Mobile Tower Project: To improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government in 2014, approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States.
    • Aspirational Districts Programme: Launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
      It 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, and
        • N- No access to Financing.
      • This 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.

Way Forward

  • Though the number of incidents of LWE violence has come down in the recent past, continued efforts and focus are needed in eliminating such groups.
  • Government needs to ensure two things; security of the peace-loving people and the development of the naxalism-affected regions.
  • Centre and states should continue with their coordinated efforts in development and security both where Centre should play a supportive role with state police forces taking the lead.
  • Government needs to undertake technological solutions such as the use of drones to minimize loss of lives of security personnel.


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