Left Wing Extremism Division
About the Division
This Division was created w.e.f. October 19, 2006 in the Ministry, to effectively address the Left Wing Extremist insurgency in a holistic manner. The LWE Division implements security related schemes aimed at capacity building in the LWE affected States. The Division also monitors the LWE situation and counter-measures being taken by the affected States. The LWE Division coordinates the implementation of various development schemes of the Ministries/Departments of Govt. of India in LWE affected States. The States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala are considered LWE affected, although in varying degrees.
Role and Functions of the Division
- Capacity building of States to combat LWE though schemes of Ministry of Home Affairs like Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, Special Infrastructure Scheme, Special Central Assistance etc.
- Deployment of Central Armed Police Forces(CAPFs) in LWE affected States.
- Providing funds to the CAPFs for strengthening of infrastructure/Helicopters/civic action etc.
- Reviewing the security situation in the LWE affected States and issuing advisories to the State Governments concerned.
- Providing assistance to State Governments for initiatives to combat LWE in the form of funds for items of emergent nature.
- Coordinating implementation of LWE related Schemes of other Central Ministries for LWE affected Districts.
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- A number of Left Wing Extremist outfits have been operating in certain remote and poorly connected pockets of the country for a few decades now. In a significant development in 2004, the People’s War (PW), then operating in Andhra Pradesh, and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI), then operating in Bihar and adjoining areas, merged to form the CPI (Maoist) Party. The CPI (Maoist) Party, is the major Left Wing Extremist outfit responsible for a majority of incidents of violence and killing of civilians and security forces and has been included in the Schedule of Terrorist Organizations along with all its formations and front organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The CPI (Maoist) philosophy of armed insurgency to overthrow the Government is unacceptable under the Indian Constitution and the founding principles of the Indian State. The Government has given a call to the Left Wing Extremists to abjure violence and come for talks. This plea has been rejected by them, since they believe in violence as the means to capture State power. This has resulted in a spiraling cycle of violence in some parts of India. The poor and the marginalized sections like the tribal are bearing the brunt of this violence. Many well-meaning liberal intellectuals fall prey to the Maoist propaganda without understanding the true nature of Maoist insurgency doctrine which glorifies violence and believes in adopting the military line to capture power. Between 2004 to 2019 (up to 15.02.2019) 8016 people have been killed by the LWE in different parts of India. The majority of the civilians killed are tribal’s, often branded as ‘Police informers’ before being brutally tortured and killed. In fact, the tribal and the economically underprivileged sections, whose cause the Maoists claim to espouse, have been the biggest victims of the So-called ‘protracted peoples war’ of the CPI (Maoist) against the Indian state.
The dynamics of Maoist insurgency:
- Some sections of the society, especially the younger generation, have romantic illusions about the Maoists, arising out of an incomplete understanding of their ideology. The central theme of Maoist ideology is violence. The Maoist insurgency doctrine glorifies violence as the primary means to overwhelm the existing socio-economic and political structures. The Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of CPI (Maoist), has been created with this purpose in mind. In the first stage of the insurgency, the PLGA resorts to guerrilla warfare, which primarily aims at creating a vacuum at the grass-roots level of the existing governance structures. This is achieved by killing lower-level government officials, police-personnel of the local police stations, the workers of mainstream political parties and the people's representatives of the Panchayati Raj system. After creating a political and governance vacuum, they coerce the local population to join the movement. A strident propaganda is also carried out against the purported and real inadequacies of the existing state structure.
- In areas under Maoist domination, the absence of governance becomes a self- fulfilling prophecy since the delivery systems are extinguished through killings and intimidation. This is the first step in the strategy of the Maoists to seek to control the countryside. In the meanwhile, many Front Organisations are created to facilitate mass-mobilisation in semi-urban and urban areas through ostensibly democratic means. Most of the Front Organisations are led by well-educated intellectuals with a firm belief in the Maoist insurgency doctrine. These ideologues function as masks to cover the violent nature of the CPI (Maoist) ideology. They also form the propaganda/disinformation machinery of the party.
- They stridently take up issues like ‘displacement of tribals’, ‘corporate exploitation’, ‘human rights violations’ by security forces etc. and often make fantastic claims in this regard which get reported even by the mainstream media. The Front Organisations also skilfully use state structures and legal processes to further the Maoist agenda and weaken the enforcement regime. The important functions of these Organisations include recruitment of ‘professional revolutionaries’, raising funds for the insurgency, creating urban shelters for underground cadres, providing legal assistance to arrested cadres and mass- mobilisation by agitating over issues of relevance/ convenience. The Front Organisations aim to provide short-term democratic subterfuge to cover-up the totalitarian and oppressive nature of the Maoist ideology. The CPI (Maoist) also have a strategic game-plan to create a ‘United Front’ with all like-minded insurgent/terrorist outfits in India. It needs to be remembered that many of these outfits are supported by external forces inimical to India and the CPI (Maoist) consider such alliances as strategic assets.
- In a nutshell, the CPI (Maoist), the main LWE outfit in India, aims to overthrow the existing democratic state structure with violence as their primary weapon, and mass mobilization and strategic united fronts as complementary components and plans to usher in So-called ‘New Democratic Revolution’ in India.
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S APPROACH
- The Government’s approach is to deal with Left Wing Extremism in a holistic manner, in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities, improvement in governance and public perception management. In dealing with this decades-old problem, it has been felt appropriate, after various high-level deliberations and interactions with the State Governments concerned, that an integrated approach aimed at the relatively more affected areas would deliver results. With this in view, a detailed analysis of the spread and trends in respect of Left Wing Extremist violence has been made and 90 districts in eleven States have been taken up for special attention with regard to planning, implementation and monitoring various interventions. However, 'Police' and 'Public Order' being State subjects, action on maintenance of law and order, lies primarily in the domain of the State Governments. The Central Government closely monitors the situation and supplements and coordinates their efforts in several ways. These include providing the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs); sanction of India Reserve (IR) battalions, setting up of Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism (CIAT) schools; modernisation and upgradation of the State Police and their Intelligence apparatus; reimbursement of security related expenditure under the Security-related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme; providing helicopters for anti-LWE operations, assistance in training of State Police through the Ministry of Defence, the Central Police Organisations and the Bureau of Police Research and Development; sharing of Intelligence; facilitating inter-State coordination; assistance in community policing and civic action programmes etc. The underlying philosophy is to enhance the capacity of the State Governments to tackle the Maoist menace in a concerted manner.
- The Union Home Minister, the Home Secretary & the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary and a Review Group chaired by the Cabinet Secretary review the LWE situation on a regular basis. The Progress of the various schemes is regularly monitored by MHA though meeting and Video Conferencing with the Central Ministries/Departments concerned and State Governments.
- The Union Home Minister has visited Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in the month of May 2018 and reviewed the LWE situation.
- The Union Home Minister has convened a meeting of Chief Ministers of LWE affected States on February 09, 2015 and May 08, 2017. A meeting with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh was held 03/11/2017.
- The Union Home Minister has conducted a meeting with Union Ministers and Secretaries of Central Ministries on 29.12.2017 about the development initiatives in the LWE affected areas.
- The Minister of States (Home) have visited LWE affected States and reviewed the LWE situation.
- Review Group meeting conducted by the Cabinet Secretary recently on 15/12/2016, 03/08/2017 and recently on 23/7/2018.
- Meetings are being conducted regularly by Union Home Secretary with Secretaries of Central Ministries and Chief Secretaries, DsGP of the LWE affected States and DsG of CAPFs.
- Union Home Secretary also visited the LWE affected States to review the LWE situation.
IMPORTANT INITIATIVES FOR LWE AFFECTED STATES
- In order to holistically address the LWE problem in an effective manner, Government has formulated National Policy and Action Plan adopting multi-pronged strategy in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights & entitlement of local communities etc.
- Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme: This Scheme has been extended by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a subscheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years till 2020. Under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme, the central Govt. reimburses to the State Governments of 11 LWE affected States Security Related Expenditure of 90 districts relating to training and operational needs of security forces, ex-gratia payment to the family of civilians/security forces killed in LWE violence, compensation to Left Wing Extremist cadres who surrendered in accordance with the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the concerned State Government, community policing, Security related infrastructure for village defence committees and publicity materials. There is a substantial increase in annual outlay and new items such as compensation for Security force personnel incapacitated during anti LWE operations and compensation for the property damage have been included for the first time in this scheme. The SRE Schemes aim at strengthening of the capacity of the LWE affected States to fight the LWE problem.
- Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 30 most LWE affected districts: This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a sub-scheme of the Umbrella Scheme, ‘Modernization of Police Forces’ for a period of 3 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The main objective of the Scheme is to fill the critical gaps in Public infrastructure and Services, which are of emergent nature. Rs 775 crore has already been released by the Government of India to the most LWE affected districts.
- Special Infrastructure Scheme, along with Construction of Fortified Police Stations in the LWE affected States: On regular demand of the LWE affected States, the Government has approved this Scheme as a sub-scheme of the Umbrellas Scheme, ‘Modernization of Police Forces’ for a period of 3 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- Scheme of Fortified Police stations:The Ministry had sanctioned 400 police stations in 10 LWE affected States. Of these 397 of PSs have been completed.
- Assistance to Central Agencies for LWE management Scheme:- This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a subscheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Under the Scheme, assistance is provided to Central Agencies (CAPFs/IAF etc) for strengthening of infrastructure and hiring charges for Helicopters.
- Civic Action Programme (CAP): This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a subscheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. CAP in LWE affected areas is being implemented since 2010-11to bridge the gaps between Security Forces and local people through personal interaction and bring the human face of SFs before the local population. The Scheme has been very successful in achieving its goal. Under the Scheme, funds are released to the CAPFs, deployed in LWE affected areas, for conducting various civic activities in the welfare of the local people.
- Media Plan: This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a subscheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The Maoists have been misguiding and luring the innocent tribals/ local population in LWE affected areas by their So-called poor-friendly revolution through petty incentives or by following their coercive strategy. Their false propaganda is targeted against the security forces and the democratic setup. Therefore, the Government is implementing this Scheme in LWE affected areas. Under the scheme activities like Tribal Youth Exchange programmes organised by NYKS, radio jingles, documentaries, pamphlets etc. are being conducted.
- Road Requirement Plan-I (RRP-I) for LWE affected areas: This Scheme is being implemented by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for improving road connectivity in 34 LWE affected districts of 8 States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. This scheme envisaged construction of 5,422 km roads lengths in LWE affected States, of which 4,758 km roads have been completed by 31.01.2019.
- Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RRP-II):The Government approved this scheme on 28.12.2016 for further improving road connectivity in 44 districts of 9 LWE affected States. This Scheme envisages 5412 km roads and 126 bridges at an estimated cost of Rs. 11,725 Crores. Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this project. The roads included under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with the State Governments and the security agencies.
- LWE Mobile Tower Project:To improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government on 20.08.2014 approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States and 2335 mobile towers have been installed in Phase-I. Phase-II of the project has been approved by the Government of India, under which 4072 mobile towers, involving an expenditure of Rs. 7330 crore, will be installed in LWE affected States.
- Aspirational District: The Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked with the monitoring of Aspirational districts programme in 35 LWE affected districts.
- It is the belief of the Government of India that through a holistic approach focussing on development and security-related interventions, the LWE problem can be successfully tackled. However, it is clear that the Left Wing Extremists do not want root causes like underdevelopment to be addressed in a meaningful manner since they resort to targeting school buildings, roads, railways, bridges, health infrastructure, communication facilities etc in a major way. They wish to keep the population in their areas of influence marginalized to perpetuate their outdated ideology. Consequently, the process of development has been set back by decades in many parts of the country under Left Wing Extremists influence. This needs to be recognised by the civil society and the media to build pressure on the Left Wing Extremists to eschew violence, join the mainstream and recognise the fact that the socio-economic and political dynamics and aspirations of 21st Century India are far removed from the Maoist world-view. Further, an ideology based on violence and annihilation is doomed to fail in a democracy which offers legitimate forums of grievance redressal.
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P.S.: All references to Maoism in this portal is in the context of CPI(Maoist) and other LWE organizations included in the schedule of Terrorist organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.