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Reduction in Left Wing Extremism Related Violence

  • 27 Sep 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

According to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), there has been a steady decline in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) related violence and geographical spread of LWE influence in the country.

  • The geographical influence of Maoists has contracted to only 41 districts in the country, which is a sharp reduction from 96 such districts in 10 States in 2010.
  • LWE incidents have also reduced from 2,258 in 2009 to 349 incidents till August 2021.

Key Points

  • 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.
      • The region, affected by LWE, is referred to as the Red corridor.
  • Reasons for the LWE:
    • 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.
  • Governments Initiatives to Check Naxal Activities:
    • Aspirational Districts Programme: Launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
    • SAMADHAN (2017):
      • 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.
    • 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

  • 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.
  • Innovative measures are required to be employed in preventing IED (Improvised Explosive Device) related incidents which have caused significant casualties in recent years.
  • States should rationalize their surrender policy in order to bring innocent individuals caught in the trap of LWE into the mainstream.

Source: TH

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