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Violence and Left-wing extremism (LWE) in India

  • Published
    8th Feb, 2023
Context

While chairing the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on LWE, the Home Minister highlighted that the number of deaths of civilians and security forces was less than 100 as compared to the year 2021.

Background
  • Since a crackdown on Maoists started in 2005in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states, many states have largely tackled the problem.
  • The implementation of a socio-economic agenda, coupled with effective police action and field-level intelligence, led to the decline in Maoist activity in those states.
  • The number of districts declared LWE-affected today is just 90, down from over 200 in the early 2000s.
  • However, Naxals still have a stronghold in many tribal areas of Chhattisgarh.

The Numbers:

  • The number of civilians and security personnel killed in LWE incidents declined to 98 in 2022 from 1,005 in 2010. The number of districts affected dropped from 90 to 45.
  • Since 2019, the armed forces had established 175 new camps to plug the security vacuum in the LWE-infested zones.

Government Interventions:

  • As part of the goal to ensure all-around development in the affected areas, several special schemes were being implemented apart from the flagship programmes of the Central government.
  • Construction of 17,462 km of roadways had been sanctioned to improve road connectivity, of which work on about 11,811 km had been completed.
  • 142 Eklavya Residential Model Schools were sanctioned in 21 years prior to 2019, while in the past three years, 103 have been sanctioned.
  • So far, 245 Eklavya schools had been sanctioned in 90 LWE-affected districts and 121 of them were now functional.
  • The government also facilitated the opening of 1,258 bank branches and 1,348 ATMs in the worst-hit districts, besides 4,903 post offices.
  • The skill development scheme’s scope was increased from 34 to 47 districts.

Steps were taken for Soft Approach

  • Interaction: Bridge the gaps between security forces and locals through personal interaction.
  • Aspirational District Program: Monitoring of Aspirational districts in 35 LWE-affected districts.
  • Media Plan: Activities like Tribal Youth Exchange programs are organized and radio jingles, documentaries, pamphlet distribution, etc. are being conducted.
  • Schemes & Policies: Various schemes like Roshni have been used to improve skill development.
    • Universal Service Obligation Fund supported the Scheme of Mobile Services to increase mobile connectivity.
    • Effective implementation of provisions of PESA, 1996 on priority.
    • Surrender and Rehabilitation policy for Naxalites in affected areas.
    • Facilities of residential schools for children – (e.g. Choolo Aasman, Pota Cabins, Nanhe Parinde) as well as focus on sports infrastructure.
    • National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGA) is being implemented in 330 districts affected by Naxalism for demand-driven wage employment.

Steps were taken for Hard Approach:

  • Police Modernization Scheme and fortification of police stations in areas affected by Naxal movements. Central assistance in the training of State Police.
  • National Policy and Action Plan 2015: a multi-dimensional strategy in the areas of development, security, upholding rights & entitlement of local communities, etc
  • Special Infrastructure Fund Scheme to the States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Odisha to set up a Special Task Force to combat LWE.
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, of 1967 was amended recently to strengthen the punitive measures.
  • Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme: Under the scheme, the Central Government reimburses any expenditure related to LWE-affected areas to the State Governments.

SAMADHAN approach is the need of the hour for the ‘Hard’ approach:

  • S – Smart Leadership
  • A - Aggressive strategy
  • M - Motivation and training
  • A - Actionable intelligence
  • D - Dashboard Based key performance indicators
  • H - Harnessing technology
  • A - Action plan for each theatre
  • N - No access to financing.

 

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