The Maoists are still a threat

Source: The post is based on the article “The Maoists are still a threat” published in The Hindu on 9th May 2023

Syllabus: GS 3 – Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

Relevance: About India’s anti-Naxal strategy.

News: Recently, the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district claimed the lives of ten police personnel and a civilian driver.

How security forces

The attack was carried out during the tactical counter-offensive campaign (the period between February and June every year when the Maoists carry out maximum attacks against security forces). Out of a total of 17 major strikes in Chhattisgarh (2010-2023), 15 were carried out in this period. This should give the government enough leads to plan its strategy.

The security forces have to remain extra cautious during these months by strictly adhering to standard operating procedures and protocols.

What is Left Wing Extremism?

Read here: Left Wing Extremism in India – Explained, Pointwise

What are the anti-Naxal strategies followed by governments?

Read here: Left-wing Extremism (LWE) in India and its challenges – Explained, pointwise

About the Maoist evolution in independent India and flaws in India’s anti-naxal strategy 

Read here: Maoism should be seen as a social and economic problem

Lack of adequate police personnel: Effective policing in insurgency-affected regions is the task of state police forces. The Central police forces ought to supplement and not supplant the State police.

But the data of the Bureau of Police Research and Development say that there are many vacancies in the State police forces. For instance, as of January 1, 2021, the share of vacancies in State police cadres in left-wing extremism States was 24.41%. This adversely affects the police-population ratio.

What should be done to address Naxalism?

Employ local tribal youth for the District Reserve Guard (DRG) with caution: Security should not be simply outsourced to local youth. DRG needs to be employed in a controlled manner by the State police.

Reconsider government development projects: The government needs to pay adequate attention to perception management. For instance, the government should reconsider the extensive road construction projects in Bastar.

Utilise the weakness in strategy: The utility of the Maoist ideology in current times is not adequately exposed, to weaken the insurgency. The focus needs to be beyond security and development.

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