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India Local Insecurities Risk List 2023

Updated: Jan 31, 2023


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India is a vibrant frequently chaotic democracy with developing governance processes which can lead to several local insecurities.


Way back in June 2007, the Fifth Report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission has outlined causes of public disorder in India and relationship between law and order and public order. The observations of the Fifth Report are included in Notes to this List.


As the Union Ministry of Home Affairs which is the central government’s primary agency on internal security and law and order states, 'Police' and 'Public Order' are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and therefore, it is the primary duty of the State Governments to prevent, detect, register and investigate crime and prosecute the criminals.


Against this backdrop general causes for law and order and public order challenges in India, catalysing factors and some main trends which can lead to insecurity in states have been listed as given below.


The list is progressive and is based on the recent incidents of violence in the states and will be updated from time to time.


The list is provided for reference and is not an indicator of certainty of occurrence but only as a cautionary note for awareness of interested stakeholders for reference and application will be time, event and location sensitive.


The risks covered are fairly well established and acknowledged by relevant law enforcement agencies as well as responsible media agencies from time to time.


2023 – Unique Factor


The unique factor for public order in 2023 is anticipated to be the political activism which would be the outcome of elections in 10 states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This will be followed by the General Elections to the Lok Sabha in the first half of 2024. Thus, political activity will remain high and sensitivity may lead to law and order issues in select areas.


General Causes for Public Disorder

  • Agricultural sector demands for compensation etc.

  • Labour Unions public sector demands for fair compensation

  • Agitations white collar workers – Banking, hospitals

  • Communal sensitivities

  • Campus – Unions, groupism etc

  • Land acquisition

  • Political triggers - election related or otherwise

  • Religious cultural issues – resistance to picturization in films, books etc

  • Economic issues – price rise, commodity restrictions

  • Event based sensitivities.

  • Festivals as triggers for communal polarization

  • Commercial competition – e commerce related

Catalysing Factors

  • Misinformation and disinformation.

  • Politicisation

  • Vigilante Groups

  • Proliferation of social media

  • Passive public support

  • Inactive policing

States/UT – Possible Triggers

Andhra Pradesh


  • Political contestations between parties.

  • People’s movement against plans for establishment of three capitals vis a vis Amaravati.

Assam


  • Revival of ULFA (I) terrorism

  • Religious radicalism outflow from Bangladesh

  • Rousing of communal divisive issues.

  • Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizenship (NRC)

  • Boundary disputes with Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland

  • Ethnic exclusivity.

Bihar


  • Left Wing Extremism

  • Crime including criminal gangs.

  • Political polarisation

Chhattisgarh

  • Left Wing Extremism

  • State elections

  • Communal agitations

Delhi

  • Political activism

  • Communal polarization

  • Armed criminal gangs

  • Women insecurity

Goa

  • Resources – Water, mining

Gujarat

  • Socio political issues related to caste/communalism

Haryana

  • Farmers agitation

India Hinterland

  • Terror - Web based religious radicalization of youth

Jammu and Kashmir

  • Terrorism and militancy with cross border support from Pakistan. Geopolitical drivers adding to the overall challenge of elimination.

  • Communal sensitivities

  • Regional sensitivities

  • UT Elections

Jharkhand

  • Left Wing Extremism

  • Socio political issues related to communal and tribal sensitivities.

Karnataka

  • State election related political contestation

  • Communal polarization – Southern coastal belt, Hubli. Issues arising from Hijab, exclusivity of communities in public and commercial areas

  • Boundary dispute Maharashtra

  • Mhadei dispute Goa

  • Cauvery Water Sharing Tamil Nadu

  • Vigilantism

Kerala

  • Political activism related law and order issues

  • Land acquisition

  • Port development

Madhya Pradesh

  • State elections 2023

Maharashtra

  • Political polarization

  • Vigilantism

  • Caste exclusivism – Quotas for sections such as Maratha community.

Manipur

  • Criminal terror/insurgency

  • Crime and drugs

Meghalaya

  • State elections

  • Socio political issues related to ethnicity, tribal issues

  • Boundary dispute Assam

Mizoram

  • State elections

  • Myanmar refugee related insecurities.

Nagaland

  • Socio political issues related to ethnicity and tribal identity

  • Criminal terrorism

  • State elections

Odisha

  • Left Wing Extremism.

Punjab

  • Crime – Terror – Drug Nexus – impacting internal security, crime as well as law and order.

  • Cross border and international network of crime including extortion.

  • Farmers agitations

Rajasthan

  • State elections 2023

  • Socio political issues related to caste/communalism

Tamil Nadu

  • Revival of Sri Lanka LTTE

  • Sensitivity to Sri Lankan Tamil issue

  • Language agitation – resistance to Hindi

  • Caste related tensions

Telangana

  • Left Wing Extremism

  • Elections 2023

  • Political activism

Tripura

  • State elections 2023

  • Socio political issues related to tribal, ethnic identity

Uttar Pradesh

  • Political polarization

  • Communal challenges

  • Crime

West Bengal

  • Political polarization

States where verifiable determinant of roots for public disorder are not discernible have not been included in the List above


Notes


In June 2007, the Fifth Report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission has outlined causes of public disorder in India and relationship between law and order and public order. Relevant extracts of these have been included in original as given below-


1.4 There are many causes of public disorder. Widely prevalent crime is a cause as well as an effect of public disorder. In a pluralistic democracy like ours, political polarisation sometimes throws up issues leading to conflicts which escalate into public disorder. Even demonstrations held on legitimate grounds can sometimes degenerate into public disorder. Given our historical inequities on the basis of caste and other social factors, these can easily lead to conflicts that may degenerate into public disorder. Similarly, divisive impulses based on ethnicity, religion, region, language and the sharing of natural resources can exacerbate tensions. With enhanced citizen awareness and assertion, failure in the delivery of services by the State often leads to frustration manifesting itself in public disorder. This tendency is aggravated by increasing criminalisation of politics and persistent interference in the due process of law. With increasing globalisation and the communications revolution, indigenous and transnational criminal organisations have acquired enormous resources and power with the capacity to cause serious breakdown of public order and even undermine the security of India. As opposed to organised crime, which is motivated by the prospect of illegitimate economic gains, terrorist groups are activated by real or imagined ideological motives. They could be homegrown armed groups like Naxalites holding sway in some pockets, or foreign sponsored secessionist groups indulging in reckless violence and mayhem with the sole objective of spreading terror. The greatest danger to public order emanates from the conjunction of foreign sponsored secessionist terrorists with organised crime networks.


Responsibility


However, it is well recognised that State agencies such as the administration, police and the criminal justice system have the direct responsibility and the commensurate authority to maintain public order. Among State agencies, police, by the very nature of their role, are the most visible arm of the government. The power of the State is expressed in its capacity to use force. As police are the agency to enforce the will of the State, the capacity of the police agencies to respond to a potential or real challenge to public order - rapidly, efficiently and justly - is of paramount importance. It is equally important to ensure that this power is exercised in a democratic society within the bounds of the Constitution and the law. Ultimately, the manner in which the police functions is an index of society’s respect for civil liberty and the rule of la


2.1.5 Thus every situation in which the security of the State is threatened is a public order problem. Similarly, all situations which lead to public disorder, are necessarily law and order problems also. But all law and order problems are not public order problems. Thus, petty clashes between groups whose impact is limited to a small area are minor in nature with no impact on public order. But widespread violent clashes between two or more groups, such as communal riots, would pose grave threats to public order. A major terrorist activity could be classified as a public order problem impinging on the security of the State.


Ministry of Home Affairs on Law and Order


As the Ministry of Home Affairs which is the central government’s primary agency on internal security and law and order notes, 'Police' and 'Public Order' are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and therefore, it is the primary duty of the State Governments to prevent, detect, register and investigate crime and prosecute the criminals.


MHA states Central Government, however, supplements the efforts of the State Governments by providing them financial assistance for modernization of their Police Forces in terms of weaponry, communication, equipment, mobility, training and other infrastructure under the Scheme of Modernization of State Police Forces. Further, intelligence inputs are regularly shared by the Central Security and Intelligence Agencies with the State Law Enforcement Agencies to prevent crime and law and order related incidents.

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