Government of India’s response to Naxalism

There are several components of Government of India’s response to Naxalism. These include deployment of paramilitary forces and dedicated anti-Naxal forces, Modernization of Police forces, Investment in security related expenditures, Investment in local infrastructure, various development programmes etc. Some of them are discussed below:

Operation Steeplechase

Operation Steeplechase was launched in early 1970s during the first phase of Naxal Movement. In the wake of emergency and 1971 war, Indira Gandhi mobilized the Indian Army against the Naxalites in West Bengal. It was a joint Army-CRPF-Police operation. In this operation, the strategy was to surround Naxal stronghold with an outer cordon of the Army, an inner cordon of the CRPF, and local police operating inside. The operation ended up with death of hundred of Naxalites and imprisonment of thousands of them. It disrupted the network of the naxalite cadres and stalled the movement. Charu Mazumdar was imprisoned and soon he died in custody. The operation steeplechase marked the end of Naxalite movement, but only that particular phase and ultimately proved to be a cosmetic surgery only. The movement did not end and resurfaced because government had not removed the causes of the insurgency.

Unified Command

In 2010, the Government established a Unified Command for inter-state coordination (in intelligence gathering, information sharing and police responses) between Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. {Please note that Unified Commands also exist in Assam and Jammu & Kashmir}

Operation Green Hunt

The Ministry of Home Affairs had established 10 Battalions of COBRA (COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) in 2009 as specially trained units in Guerrilla warfare. Since 2009, there is an operation going on in Naxalite affected areas including the Bastar region under the lead of COBRA. The media (not government) calls it Operation Green Hunt. Apart from CRPF, the Government has deployed  Naga Battalions of the Nagaland’s Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) in this operation and has also taken help of Israeli operatives.

Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme

Under this scheme funds are provided to states for meeting the recurring expenditure relating to insurance, training and operational needs of the security forces, rehabilitation of Left Wing Extremist cadres (who surrender in accordance with the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the State Government concerned), community policing, security related infrastructure for village defence committees and publicity material.

Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS)

This scheme tries to cater to the critical infrastructure gaps for better mobility for the police and security forces by upgrading existing roads and rail tracks in inaccessible areas, providing secure camping grounds and helipads at strategic locations in remote and interior areas, measures to enhance security in respect of police stations / outposts located in vulnerable areas etc.

Central Scheme for assistance to civilian victims/family of victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal violence

This scheme is to assist families of victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal violence. An amount of Rs. 3 lakh is given to the affected family under the scheme.

Integrated Action Plan

Integrated Action Plan (IAP) was started by UPA Government in 78 Selected Tribal and Backward Districts for accelerated development. The aim of this initiative is to provide public infrastructure and services.

Road Requirement Plan for LWE areas

The objective is to improve road connectivity in 34 extremely LWE affected districts in 8 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

Scheme of Fortified Police Stations

Some 400 police stations in 9 LWE affected States at a unit cost Rs. 2 crores were sanctioned under this scheme

Civic Action Programme

Under this scheme financial grants are sanctioned to CAPFs to undertake civic action in the affected states. Objective is to build bridges between the local population and the security forces.

Surrender Policies by State Governments

Naxal-affected states have also announced surrender policies whereby they offer cash assistance, land and other benefits in lieu of surrender. However, there is no effective intelligence mechanism to identify Naxal cadres. Often, tribal youths surrender as Naxal cadres; many of them even join the Naxal movement to reap these benefits.

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