Comprehensive Counter Naxal Strategy – Explained
In a reply in the parliament on April, 05, the Ministry of Home Affairs outlined the overall strategy for countering Left Wing Extremism. This is based on the National Policy and Action Plan (NPAP) launched in 2015 to address Left Wing Extremism (LWE)
The Counter Naxal NPAP envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities etc as outline herein –
On the development front, the Central Government has taken various initiatives with special thrust on expansion of road network; improving telecom connectivity; financial inclusion of local population; skill development and education facilities in the LWE areas.
More than 16,200 km roads have been approved in LWE affected areas under specific schemes Road Requirement Plan-I (RRP-1) and Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RCPLWEA). Out of these, 10,600 km roads have already been constructed with an expenditure of approximately Rs. 13,000 crore.
2,343 mobile towers were installed under Phase-l and work order has been issued for 2,542 towers under phase-II of Mobile Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas. Another 4,312 mobile towers have been approved in LWE affected areas under the scheme for uncovered Aspirational Districts.
For Skill Development of the youth in these areas, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in 47 districts and Skill Development Centres (SDCs) in 34 Districts have been approved with an estimated cost of Rs. 407 crore under "Skill Development Scheme in 47 Districts affected by LWE". Of the 234 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) approved for LWE affected areas till date, 99 EMRS have been approved in the last 02 years. Further, Kendriya Vidyalas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalas (JNVs) have been approved and made functional in all the most LWE affected districts.
For financial inclusion of the populace in LWE Affected areas, 4,442 new Post Offices have been opened in the last 07 years. 1,253 Bank Branches, 1,264 ATMs and 16,808 Banking Correspondents have also been established in 30 most LWE Affected Districts in the last 07 years.
Further, to fill critical gaps in Public Infrastructure & Services in Most LWE Affected Districts, funds are provided to the Most LWE Affected Districts under Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme. Rs. 3,085 crore has been released to the States under the scheme during the last 05 years.
Security Capacity Building
On security front, the Central Government supports the LWE affected States 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.
The Central Government also provides funds for capacity building of the LWE affected States, under various scheme like Security Related Expenditure (SRE) and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS). Rs. 1,623 crore has been released to the LWE affected States under the SRE scheme during the last 05 years.
Under the Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), projects worth Rs. 371 crore for strengthening Special Forces (SF) and Special Intelligence Branches (SIB) and for 250 Fortified Police Stations (FPS) worth Rs. 620 crore in vulnerable LWE affected areas have been approved since 2017.
Apart from this, in the previous SIS/FPS scheme, the Central Government released more than Rs.1,180 crore for construction of 400 FPS and upgradation of police infrastructure in the States.
Outcome of Policy
Steadfast implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan to Address LWE has resulted in consistent decline of LWE violence and its geographical spread.
Incidents of LWE violence have reduced by 77 percent from all time high of 2,258 in 2009 to 509 in 2021. Similarly, resultant deaths (Civilians+ Security Forces) have reduced by 85 percent from all time high of 1,005 in 2010 to 147 in 2021.
The number of Districts reporting LWE violence has also reduced by 48% from 96 in 2010 to 46 in 2021.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on April 05. It should be noted that this is the Central government policy on countering Naxalism.
As per Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India, subjects of 'Police and Public Order' are with the State Governments, thus respective state governments have also devised their own policies which are in concert with the NPAP 2015.