Left Wing Extremism

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    In News

    • Recently, the Minister of State for Home Affairs gave a reply to a Written Question on ‘Eradication of Left-Wing Extremism’ in Rajya Sabha.

    Background

    • Naxalism is an instance of left-wing terrorism: severely or slightly affecting almost 9 out of total 28 states of India and is an acknowledged potential threat for internal peace and security of this country.
      • The term ‘Naxal’ derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. 
      • The Naxals are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. 
      • Their origin can be traced to the split in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). 
        • Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. 
      • In later years, it spread into less developed areas of rural southern and eastern India: such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
    • Globally it all started with the communist political and economic thought put forward by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.
    • The term Naxalism or Naxal or Naxalvadi is intrinsic to the country of India however it heavily borrows its ideology from Maoism: a form of Marxism-Leninism developed by Mao Tse Tung or Mao-Zedong, the person responsible for anti-capitalist revolutionary regime specific to China. 

    Data/ Facts

    • Incidents of LWE violence have reduced by 77% from a high of 2213 in 2010 to 509 in 2021.
    • Deaths (Civilians + Security Forces) have reduced by 85% from a high of 1005 in 2010 to 147 in 2021.

    Major Challenges/ Reasons for growth of LWE

    • Exploitation and oppression of dalits, adivasis and landless people, living in interior areas due to feudal agrarian system and strong interface of caste and class.
    • Total alienation of the population: due to virtual absence of health care, drinking water, roads, electricity and educational facilities in the interior areas, from the Government machinery.
    • Inadequate Police Force, in all the Naxal affected districts: The density of police force per sq km is just about 30 per cent of the average need. Not only this, the training and equipment profile, which goes to create the desired capability and capacity of the security force, is far from satisfactory.
    • It will be unfair to blame the Government alone for the lack of development: Naxalites themselves do not want any developmental activity to succeed, they do not allow construction of roads and want the area to remain as such for their designs to succeed and the tribals to remain dependent on them.
    • Naxalites are able to raise adequate funds for their cadres and other needs. It is estimated that their annual income runs into nearly 14 billion rupees.
    • Support from tribals: the tribal population is the biggest supporter of the Naxal regime and there is only one reason that can be attributed for the same.

    Steps taken by the Government

    • National Policy and Action Plan to address LWE: This policy envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities, etc.
    • Improving infrastructure: More than 11,600 km roads have been constructed in LWE affected areas.
    • Installation of mobile towers: For improving telecommunication connectivity, 2,343 mobile towers have been installed and work orders issued for another 2,542.
    • Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme: Under this scheme, various types of projects have been undertaken like road repair, improvement in health infrastructure, education related projects, rural infrastructure projects etc.
    • Skill Development Scheme: towards educational empowerment, 47 Industrial Training Institutes and 68 Skill Development Centers have been approved under “Skill Development Scheme in 47 Districts affected by LWE”.
    • Financial inclusion: 1,258 Bank Branches, 1,348 ATMs and 22,202 Banking Correspondents have been established in Most LWE Affected Districts and 4,903 Post Offices have been opened in 90 LWE affected districts in the last seven years.
    • Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas (RCPLWEA): This Scheme is being implemented through the Ministry of Rural Development. 12,100 km of roads with an estimated cost of Rs 12,021 crore have been sanctioned. Of these 6,561 km of road have been completed.
    • Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs): This scheme is being implemented through the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for tribal education.
    • Others:
      • 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
      • 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.
      • ROSHNI is a special initiative under Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana launched in 2013 for training and placement of rural poor youth from 27 LWE affected districts in 09 States.

    Way Forward

    • As per the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are state subjects and therefore, it is the primary duty of the State Governments to prevent, detect, register and investigate crime and prosecute the criminals.
    • Combined efforts of the Government of India and State Governments have resulted in significant improvement in the security situation in LWE affected states.
    • Provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are being applied wherever required: Critical UAPA cases are also being handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA) for investigation as per requirement.
    • Representative from Amongst Them: the longest problem of improper administration can be solved when the naxalites are given a chance of electing their own.
    • Providing Economical Encouragement to the Tribal Communities: A feasible solution for inclination of the tribal community towards the naxalites can include providing the tribal people with a much higher level of economic and political security as compared to what the naxalites have to offer.

    Source: PIB