EDEN IAS

LEFT WING EXTREMISM

NATIONAL POLICY TO COMBAT LEFT WING EXTREMISM

Introduction of COMBAT LEFT WING EXTREMISM

As per Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India, subjects of Police and Public Order are with the State Governments. However, the Government of India has been supplementing the efforts of States affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE). To address the LWE problem holistically, a “National Policy and Action Plan to address LWE” was approved in 2015.

It envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities etc. While on security front, the Government of India assists the LWE affected State Government by providing Central Armed Police Forces battalions, training, funds for modernization of State police forces, equipment & arms, sharing of intelligence, construction of Fortified Police Stations etc; on development side.

During last 05 years between 2018-19 to 2022-23 Rs. 4931 crores have been released for capacity building of the LWE affected states under the Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Security Related Expenditure (SRE) and Special Central Assistance (SCA) schemes etc.

Apart from flagship schemes, Government of India has taken several specific initiatives in LWE affected States, with special thrust on expansion of road network, improving telecommunication connectivity, skilling and financial inclusion:

Some Specific Initiatives regarding LEFT WING EXTREMISM

  1. Construction of 17462 km roads is approved for LWE affected areas. Of these 11811 km roads have been constructed.
  2. To improve telecom connectivity, 2343 mobile towers are installed in phase-I of the Mobile Tower Project, which are being upgraded to 4G. Under, phase-II of the Mobile Tower Project 2542 Mobile Towers is under installation.
  3. For financial inclusion of the local populace in these areas 1258 Bank Branches, 1348 ATMs and 22202 Banking Correspondents in 30 Most LWE Affected Districts and 4903 new Post Offices in 90 districts have been made functional during last 08 years.
  4. For skill development 43 ITIs and 38 Skill Development Centres (SDCs) have been made functionalin LWE affected districts.
  5. For quality education in tribal blocks of LWE affected districts 245 Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS)have been sanctioned in 90 LWE affected districts, of which 121 are functional.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS SCHEME OF LEFT WING EXTREMISM

The resolute implementation of the policy has resulted in consistent decline in violence and also the geographical spread. The LWE related violence incidents and resultant deaths (Civilians + Security Forces) have come down from high of 2010 by 73% and 86% respectively in 2023.

The number of Police Stations reporting LWE related violence has been reduced significantly from 465 Police Stations of 96 districts in 2010 to 171 Police Stations across 42 districts in 2023.

LEFT WING EXTREMISM DIVISION

ABOUT THE DIVISION

This Division was created with effect from October 19, 2006 in the Ministry, to effectively address the Left-Wing Extremist insurgency in a holistic manner. The LWE Division implements security related schemes aimed at capacity building in the LWE affected States. The Division also monitors the LWE situation and counter-measures being taken by the affected States. The LWE Division coordinates the implementation of various development schemes of the Ministries/Departments of Govt. of India in LWE affected States.

 The States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala are considered LWE affected, although in varying degrees.

ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE DIVISION

  • Capacity building of States to combat LWE though schemes of Ministry of Home Affairs like Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, Special Infrastructure Scheme, Special Central Assistance etc.
  • Deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in LWE affected States.
  • Providing funds to the CAPFs for strengthening of infrastructure/ Helicopters/civic action etc.
  • Reviewing the security situation in the LWE affected States and issuing advisories to the State Governments concerned.
  • Aiding State Governments for initiatives to combat LWE in the form of funds for items of emergent nature.
  • Coordinating implementation of LWE related Schemes of other Central Ministries in LWE affected Districts.

BACKGROUND OF LEFT WING EXTREMISM

The CPI (Maoist) Party, is the major Left-Wing Extremist outfit responsible for a majority of incidents of violence and killing of civilians and security forces and has been included in the Schedule of Terrorist Organizations along with all its formations and front organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The CPI (Maoist) philosophy of armed insurgency to overthrow the Government is unacceptable under the Indian Constitution and the founding principles of the Indian State.

The Government has given a call to the Left-Wing Extremists to abjure violence and come for talks. This plea has been rejected by them, since they believe in violence as the means to capture State power. This has resulted in a spiralling cycle of violence in some parts of India. The poor and the marginalized sections like the tribal are bearing the brunt of this violence.

Many well-meaning liberal intellectuals fall prey to the Maoist propaganda without understanding the true nature of Maoist insurgency doctrine which glorifies violence and believes in adopting the military line to capture power.

Between 2004 to 2022, 8625 people have been killed by the LWE in different parts of India. The majority of the civilians killed are tribal, often branded as ‘Police informers’ before being brutally tortured and killed. In fact, the tribal and the economically underprivileged sections, whose cause the Maoists claim to espouse, have been the biggest victims of the So-called ‘protracted peoples war’ of the CPI (Maoist) against the Indian state.

IMPORTANT INITIATIVES BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR LEFT WING EXTREMISM AFFECTED STATES
  1. Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme: Under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme, the Central Government reimburses to the State Governments of 10 LWE affected States Security Related Expenditure of 70 districts relating to training and operational needs of security forces, ex-gratia payment to the family of civilians/security forces killed/injured in LWE violence, rehabilitation of surrendered LWE cadres, community policing, village defense committees and publicity materials. The SRE Scheme aims at strengthening of the capacity of the LWE affected States to fight the LWE menace effectively.
  2. Special Central Assistance (SCA) for most LWE affected districts: This Scheme was approved in 2017 and is being implemented as a sub-scheme of the Umbrella Scheme ‘Modernization of Police Forces’. The main objective of the Scheme is to fill the critical gaps in Public Infrastructure and Services, which are of emergent nature.
  3. Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS):  Under this scheme funds are provided to States for strengthening the infrastructure related to Security. Under the scheme projects/works worth Rs. 971crore have been sanctioned. These sanctioned works include 250 Fortified Police Stations, of which 204 have been constructed.
  4. Civic Action Program (CAP): This Scheme has been implemented to bridge the gaps between Security Forces and local people through personal interaction and bring the human face of Special forces before the local population. The Scheme has been very successful in achieving its goal. Under the Scheme, funds are released to the CAPFs, deployed in LWE affected areas, for conducting various civic activities for the welfare of the local people.
LEFT WING EXTREMISM affected areas
  1. Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RCPLWE): Under the scheme 12100 km of roads and 701 bridges are sanctioned. Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this project. The roads included under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with the State Governments and the security agencies.
CONCLUSION

However, it is clear that the Left-Wing Extremists do not want root causes like underdevelopment to be addressed in a meaningful manner since they resort to targeting school buildings, roads, railways, bridges, health infrastructure, communication facilities etc. in a major way. They wish to keep the population in their areas of influence marginalized to perpetuate their outdated and failed ideology.

Consequently, the process of development has been set back by decades in many parts of the country under Left Wing Extremists influence. This needs to be recognized by the civil society and the media to build pressure on the Left-Wing Extremists to eschew violence, join the mainstream and recognize the fact that the socio-economic and political dynamics and aspirations of 21stCentury India are far removed from the Maoist world-view.

However, the governments need to ensure two things, security of the peace-loving people and the development of the Naxalism-affected regions.

SourcesPIB, THE HINDU