Tackling Left Wing Extremism (LWE), Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Current Affairs 2nd May, 2017DEVENDRA VISHWAKARMA
Tackling Left Wing Extremism (LWE)
The recent Maoist attack on the 99-member Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) party in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, in which at least 25 jawans lost their lives, has once again brought the focus on not just the threat represented by left-wing extremism (LWE) but also questions of preparation, equipping, training and strategy of the CRPF that is bearing the brunt of the burden in this fight.
The attack came just a month after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Parliament that security forces had achieved tremendous success in containing LWE over the past two years.
Earlier we have covered articles which covered –
- Origin of Naxalism
- Evolution of their movement
- Evolution of their strategy
- Geographical resurgence of their movement
- Long history of their ambushes
Deaths after deaths
From the above articles and the recent attack, we can observe that –
- the fight against Maoists has been characterised by high casualty count of our security forces.
- even after five-decade-long insurgent movement, and a large number of paramilitary personnel along with State police being deployed in Maoism-affected areas, there seems to be no clear strategic approach to the problem and the forces do not have an upper hand in the areas.
- Lack of coordination and clear strategy:
- LWE/Maoists corridor spreads across several States and the perceived lack of a common plan has left each State government combating the Naxals as per their own strategy.
- Lack of institutionalised intelligence-sharing between States and regions and regional coordination is being clearly utilised by the LWEs/Maoists.
- While there has been a significant drop in Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh in the past year when 36 security personnel were killed as compared to 182 in 2007, between 2005 and 2017, as many as 1,910 security personnel were killed in LWE/Maoist attacks in India, out of which 954 casualties were in Chhattisgarh alone, including the latest incident.
- Inadequate combat capability:
- CRPF soldiers are trained inadequately and there are also shortages of Mine Protected Vehicles (MPV).
- Successive ambushes and attacks have shown the vulnerability of the CRPF and police parties in the Naxal areas.
- The damage and loss of life from attacks with grenade launchers and improvised explosive devices (IED) can be lessened with movement in armoured vehicles.
- Inadequate combat capability of police forces in Maoism-affected States remains the prime factor for failing security response as also dependency of State police forces on the Central government for anti-Maoist operations.
Need for more special force on the lines of Greyhounds special force:
- The Greyhounds special force of undivided Andhra Pradesh has by far been the most effective force to have succeeded in reversing the trend of Maoist violence.
- Since 2005, 429 LWEs/Maoists have been killed in Andhra Pradesh and 36 security personnel have lost their lives; in Telangana, formed in 2014, four LWEs/Maoists have been killed with no casualties on the security forces’ side.
- In 2012, the Home Ministry had proposed to replicate Greyhounds in five Maoism-hit States. Clearly, the proposal has not seen the light of day, especially in Chhattisgarh.
Need for an effective strategy with good leadership:
- Apart from the obvious gaps in intelligence-gathering, there is clear evidence that the CRPF lags on strategy and tactics.
- The use of technology (including drones) to increase surveillance around patrols to prevent ambushes is inadequate.
- Losing a quarter of the patrol force in an ambush like this must get the CRPF leadership to re-evaluate tactics, training and equipment.
Need for a dedicated Ministry
- A fundamental transformation of the Home Ministry — by moving internal security functions of the government to a new, focussed and accountable Internal Security Ministry might help.
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S APPROACH