Recently, a large group of security forces was attacked by a contingent of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in the Terum area near the border of Sukma-Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, killing several security personnel and injuring some. This was not the first Naxalite attack on security forces. So,in the light of this recent incident, we need to know about the Left Wing Extremism in India.
Left-Wing Extremism in India:
Left-Wing Extremists are known as Maoists in other countries of the world and as Naxalites in India. Naxalite violence in India started in the year 1967 from a village called Naxalbari in Darjeeling district of West Bengal and hence this militant movement is known as ‘Naxalism’.
This armed movement launched by Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Kanhai Chatterjee against the elite class to curb the oppression of small farmers by the zamindars was called Naxalism.
This movement has spread to less-developed eastern Indian states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It is believed that Naxalites support Maoist political sentiments and ideology.
Now, Maoism is a form of communism developed by Mao Tse Tung. Proponents of this doctrine believe in occupying state power by combining armed rebellion, mass mobilization and strategic alliances.
Causes of Left Wing Extremism:
- Discontent among Tribals
The Forest (Protection) Act, 1980 has been used to target tribal people, who depend on forest produce for their livelihood.Development projects, mining operations and other reasons have led to widespread displacement of tribal population in Naxalite affected states.
- Easy to lure vulnerable
People who have no source of life, are easily taken with them by the Maoists.The Maoists provide arms, ammunition and money to such people.
- Gaps in the socio-economic system
The government measures its success based on the number of violent attacks rather than the development done in Naxal-affected areas.
There is a lack of strong technical intelligence to fight the Naxalites. Moreover, there are Infrastructural problems, for example, some villages have not yet been properly connected to any communication network. Besides, it is often seen that even after the police control an area, the administration fails to provide necessary services to the people of that area. And at last, there is still confusion over whether Naxalism should be dealt with as a social issue or as a security threat.
What steps the government has taken?
The formation of Greyhound forces in Andhrawas the first such major step taken by the government. It was adopted in the year 1989 as a distinct anti-Naxal force.
Later, Operation Green Hunt was started in the year 2009-10 and under it, heavy deployment of security forces was done in Naxalite affected areas.
To improve mobile connectivity in LWE areas, the government approved the establishment of mobile towers in LWE affected states in the year 2014.
With an aim of development, Aspirational District Programme was launched in the year 2018, which aims to bring rapid changes in the districts which have made relatively little progress in major social sectors.
The government is working on the SAMADHAN principle, which is a one-stop solution to the LWE problem. This includes the entire strategy of the government from short-term policy formulated at various levels to long-term policy. Here SAMADHAN stands for S-Smart Leadership, A-Aggressive Strategy, M-Motivation and Training, A-Functional Intelligence, D-Dashboard based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRA (Key Results Areas), H-Harnessing Technology, A-An action plan for each theatre, N- No access to Financing.
If we look at the statistics, the incidence of LWE violence has decreased in recent times. However,constant attention and efforts are required to eradicate such groups.The government needs to ensure the protection of innocent natives and the of Naxalite affected areas.
The central and state governments should continue their coordinated efforts in terms of development and security, where the centre should play a supporting role with the state police forces. The government needs to focus on technical solutions such as the use of drones to reduce the loss of lives of security personnel.