Flaws in India’s Internal Security Management

Synopsis:The recent attack in tekulgada area in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh exposed flaws in India’s internal security management. Hence, there is a need to bring robust reforms in the security architecture that can prevent attacks by Left Wing Extremists in the future. 

  • Recently a combing operation by local police and central police forces in the Bastar region turned into a grave Maoist attack. The attack took lives of around 22 security personnel while several others got wounded.
    • Combing operations involves searching a place or an area very carefully in order to find something.
    • The operation was carried on to find a local Maoist leader (Madvi Hidma) and his syndicates.
  • This has highlighted the flaws in India’s internal security management especially in the case of Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
About Left Wing Extremism:
  • LWE or Naxal-Maoist insurgency is prevalent in India for decades in the region denoted by the red corridor. The corridor includes states from eastern, southern, and central India.
  • The Maoists aim to capture State power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization, and strategic alliances.
  • It is one of the 3 major internal security challenges. The other two being 
    • a proxy war and terrorism in Kashmir, 
    • sub-national separatist movements in the Northeast
  • The government has been able to contain these but little progress is achieved in the domain of combating Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
  • Around 15,000 lives have been lost due to LWE violence over the last three decades.  
Rationale behind origin and sustenance of LWE:
  • First, the poor nature of governance has resulted in the persistent neglect of tribal populations in LWE regions. This has devoid them of the fruits of development.
  • Second, an oppressive/exploitative hierarchy of the state and society has pushed the residents in these regions to the margins of survival.
Flaws in Internal Security Management:
  • Operational Challenges:
    • Leadership failure was seen in recent attacks. Security personnel left their dead comrades in the grip of Maoists rather than trying to regroup and attack the Maoists. 
    • Lacunae in the intelligence network were also unearthed as the security personnel got trapped in the plan of Maoists.
    • Use of large and diverse forces (CAPF, COBRA commandos, local police) adversely impacted the covert nature of the operation. It made detection easier.
  • Strategic Challenges:
    • There has been no meaningful policy review of the IS (internal security) challenge. However, LWE was recognized as the most important security challenge by the PM in 2005.
    • Further, there has been ignorance of Kargil review committee (1999) recommendations that show a deficiency in higher IS management.
      • The committee desired the restructuring of command, control, and leadership functions of paramilitary forces in situations of proxy war and large-scale terrorism.
      • Till date, many police officers inducted into leadership positions into paramilitary forces. They have good training to maintain law and order. However, they lack the skill set to manage an insurgent operation which results in grave tragedies like the recent Bastar attack.
Way Forward:
  • Must carry out a detailed investigation to find out the real reason behind the tragedy.
  • There is a need to enhance cooperation between center and state government in the security domain. This will prevent such grave attacks in the future.
  • The political leadership of the country must realize its responsibility towards internal security challenges. They must inculcate a will to revamp the capacity of security personnel and usher in the desired reforms.

Source: Indian Express 

[Answered] Discuss the threat of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) to India. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE.

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