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  • Harshal Gaikwad asked: Why government is not using Army for combating Naxalism?

    Reply: Please refer to the IDSA Issue Brief entitled “Anti-Naxal Operations: Employment of Armed Forces” authored by Brig. (Retd.) Rumel Dahiya. The Issue Brief, dated May 04, 2010, can be accessed at

    Disrupting Life and Economy: The Maoist way

    Repeated acts of targeting infrastructure speak of Maoist intentions: paralyse normal life, sabotage economic activity, dictate terms and allow life and economic activity only on their “terms and conditions.”

    May 31, 2012

    Hans Raj Singh asked: Why has India failed to tackle the problem of Naxalism despite so many policies in place?

    Anil Kamboj replies: The reason lies in the government’s inability to properly implement policies on the ground. Some of the key inhibiting factors in this regard are:

    a) Terrain: The areas where the Naxals operate are thickly forested, hilly, remote, and have limited roads and tracks. There are no proper detailed maps available as some of these areas have not been surveyed properly.

    b) Location of villages: The villages are located in remote areas separated by thick jungles. There are no good roads or tracks connecting these villages, with the result that there is lack of communication. Generally the local people move on foot. To approach these people living in such remote areas from the district/tehsil headquarters takes considerable time. A determined government machinery is the only device to approach the people in the region.

    c) Poverty: Most of the people live in extreme economic conditions as there are hardly any employment avenues available. Therefore, they are easily motivated and lured to join the Naxalite organisations.

    d) No Presence of Government Machinery: There is no presence of state government in these remote areas with the result neither these poor people are aware about the policies of the government and their benefits, nor the government has shown any interest to know about the needs of these tribal people. This has been taken advantage of by the Naxals to endear themselves to the local people.

    e) Deployment of Security Forces: There is no presence of police in some of these remote areas. Even if it is there, they are not effective. The Central Forces i.e. BSF, CRPF and the ITBP are thinly deployed as compared to the requirement. Moreover, the area has been heavily mined by the Naxals and therefore the security forces have not been able to dominate these areas.

    f) Lack of Proper Training: To operate against the Naxals, no proper training was imparted to the security forces at the time of their induction, and therefore, they initially suffered heavy causalities. Besides this, the central armed forces also do not enjoy special powers like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in these states. In addition, the fear of human rights violations has made the security forces adopt a defensive posture.

    g) No Development: The affected areas have been neglected by the state governments. These areas remain economically deprived and backward as the local government never tried to approach or communicate with the common people. Now several efforts are being made, but the development progress has been very slow.

    h) Political Attitude: The most important aspect is the political attitude of the state governments when it comes to implementing the programmes and taking necessary effective measures to deal with the Naxalite problem. While Andhra Pradesh has largely succeeded in controlling the situation, other States have failed to view and acknowledge the prevailing situation in the correct prospective.

    The Naxalites are well entrenched and are spreading their wings to larger areas. Their movement has so far been well planned and organised. Pro-Naxal activists have been placed at all strategically important locations to counter government plans. These activists not only agitate against government policies but also effectively resist the implementation of developmental policies. To neutralise the Naxalite movement, constant, determined and well- coordinated efforts are required on all fronts. There is an urgent need to ensure that the policies and programmes of the government reach the people. However, all this would take time may be a minimum of five to six years.

    Hans Raj Singh asked: What is the difference between Maoism and Naxalism?

    Anil Kamboj replies: Naxalism originated as a rebellion against lack of development and poverty at the local level in the rural parts of eastern India. The term ‘Naxal’ derives its name from a village called Naxalbari in the State of West Bengal where the movement had its origin. The Naxals are considered far left radical communists who support Maoist political ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split that took place in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1967. It led to the formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist and Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. Thereafter, it spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

    Maoism originated in China as a form of Communist theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. It was widely applied as the political and military guiding ideology of the Communist Party of China till 1977-78. It emphasised the advancement of people’s social and economic life by establishing a classless society through armed revolution. It was rooted in the anti-imperialist struggle and supported armed revolution in order to achieve political transformation. Naxalism is actually based on the principles of Maoism to achieve a similar transformation in India.

    Growing Maoist Activism in Assam: Sinister and Calculated Moves

    Although law enforcement agencies have been receiving timely reports about growing Maoist activities in Assam, it appears that they do not pay much attention to the issue.

    February 24, 2012

    Maoists understand the limitations of Mine Proof Vehicles

    After a systematic study of the MPV deployed in anti-Maoist operations, the Maoists have come to the conclusion that “There is no such thing as a mine proof vehicle”.

    January 30, 2012

    Neeraj Kapoor asked: Keeping in mind that the naxals are Indians with guns and naxalism is a result of government apathy, what should be the right strategy against Naxalism?

    Kishalay Bhattacharjee replies: Naxalism, to begin with is not only the result of government apathy; that is just one approach to understanding Naxalism. Naxalism or Left Wing Extremism in India is an ideological war as much as an armed insurgency. Therefore it is imperative to counter the ideology that helps mobilise their support. The apathy feeds into this extremism. Therefore it is essential to address the apathy as well. But most importantly the authorities must be seized of the gravity of the Maoist problem. Maoists haven't struck in the cities yet and that could be one reason for the Government to have not responded to it immediately. Development must be all round and not concentrated only in Maoist dominated areas. Police reforms must be implemented immediately. The state and the centre must agree on the threat perception and follow a clear policy which is currently absent. The Government must choke funding of these organisations. Tactical negotiations must follow arrests of leaders to allow them to participate in the democratic process as proof that change is possible. Crucially, there has to be a genuine will to address the grievances of the people which in turn feed into these movements.

    Maoists in ‘Golden Corridor Area’

    The ‘Golden Corridor Area’ was reportedly formed by the Maoists in February 2008. It is essential to check their presence in this area in order to curtail their finances as well as to avoid industrial sabotage.

    December 19, 2011

    India’s Internal Security: The Year That Was, The Year That May Be

    India’s internal security situation in 2011 was relatively better than in previous years. To ensure that 2012 also turns out to be a quiet and secure year, New Delhi not only has to consolidate the gains made in 2011 but also undertake new initiatives to address these gaps.

    December 13, 2011

    Maoist People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army

    The Maoist military machine has acquired a certain versatility and lethality and the security forces would have to possess and display immense capacities to fight the Maoists militarily.

    December 12, 2011