As per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) annual report for the year 2021-22, the Government of India has adopted an integrated and holistic approach where a National Policy and Action Plan have been put in place that adopts a multi-pronged strategy in the areas of security, development, and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities to counter activities of Left Wing Extremists also known as Maoists or Naxalite.
Security Related Measures
The report underlines the security-related measures that include providing Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), sanction of India Reserve (IR) battalions, modernization and up gradation of the State Police, reimbursement of Security Related Expenditure under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme, strengthening of Special Intelligence Branches & Special Forces of the States and fortification of Police Stations under the Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), providing helicopters for anti-LWE operations, assistance in the training of State Police through Ministry of Defence, Central Police Organizations and Bureau of Police Research and Development, sharing of intelligence, facilitating inter-State coordination, Community Policing and Civic Action etc.
Implementation of such policy has resulted in unprecedented improvement in the Left-Wing Extremism security situation across the country as the reports draw out a 55% reduction in violent incidents (1136 to 509) and a 63 % reduction (397 to 147) in LWE-related deaths in 2021 as compared to 2013. In comparison to 2020, the year 2021 saw a decline of 24% (665 to 509) in incidents of violence and the resultant deaths by 20% (183 to 147).
The overall improvement in the LWE scenario can be attributed to the greater presence and increased capacity of the Security Forces across the LWE-affected States, better operational strategy and better monitoring of development schemes in affected areas.
The geographical spread of LWE violence has also been shrinking considerably. 2013. However, the arc of violence has been considerably restricted with just 25 districts accounting for 90% of the LWE violence. The CPI (Maoist) continues to be the most potent among the various LWE outfits in the country and accounted for more than 90% of total LWE violent incidents and 95% of resultant deaths. As the report suggests, amidst increasing reverses, the CPI (Maoist) has been making efforts to expand to new areas along inter- State borders without any significant success.
Specific measures taken by the Government in this direction include a ban on CPI (Maoist), Strengthening the intelligence mechanism, better inter-state coordination, tackling the problem of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and sanctioning Indian Reserve (IR)/ Specialised India Reserve Battalion (SIRB).
States Impacted by Naxalism
However, in 2021, Chhattisgarh (255 incidents and 101 deaths) remains the worst affected State followed by Jharkhand (130 incidents and 26 deaths), Odisha (32 incidents and 03 deaths), Maharashtra (31 incidents and 06 deaths) and Bihar (26 incidents and 07 deaths).
[Extracted by Harshita Singh Panwar]