India Internal Security | Efforts by Government to address Extremism

The government followed a two-pronged approach which combines security forces action with accelerated development of the extremist affected area.

1. Developmental efforts

‘Clear, hold and develop’ strategy

Military operations have not been abandoned and individual states continue to undertake area clearing operations, such exercises appear to form parts of a new ‘clear, hold and develop’ strategy that uses development as a tool to win back the support of the tribal population, who overwhelmingly appear to sympathize with the extremists.

Since early 2011 there is a renewed focus on carrying out development initiatives in areas cleared of Maoist presence. Several flagship projects of the government to improve connectivity of tribal areas with the administrative centers, to provide employment to the tribal youth and to ensure the health and educational facilities have been launched.

Integrated Action Plan (IAP):

Planning commission implemented IAP for 82 LWE affected tribal and backward districts to provide public infrastructure and services. Major works under IAP include construction of school, buildings, anganwadi centre, drinking water facilities, rural road, construction of panchayat bhawan, community halls, playground etc.

Prime Minister Rural Development Fellowship (PMRDF):

It is launched by Ministry of Rural Development for providing capacity building opportunity to well qualified young professional to carry out grass root development in LWE affected districts.

They would work along with district administration on any matter related to IAP, thus providing the tribal with points of contact and humane touch in understanding their problems.

Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) (PESA) ACT 1996:

It is an important legislation empowering tribals in the field of local self-government through gram sabha.

Surrender Cum Rehabilitation Scheme:

It is launched in on 1st April 2013 for extremists, allowing them to wean away from extremist movements and ensure that didn’t join the movement again. The scheme takes care of rehabilitation of extremists to mainstream life, and helps them to live a better life.

2. Security related measures:

i) SAMADHAN-

Central Government announced a new strategy against the Maoists—SAMADHAN.

The acronym SAMADHAN is-  

S-smart leadership, A-aggressive strategy, M-motivation and training, A-actionable intelligence, D-dashboard-based KPIs (key performance indicators) and KRAs (key result areas), H-harnessing technology, A-action plan for each theatre and N-no access to financing.

  • Smart leadership

In the LWE-affected areas, there is a need of leadership which, despite adversity, can keep the jawans enthusiastic and teach them only to win. The central forces and the local police were asked to work under a coordinated plan.

  • Aggressive strategy

It is necessary to analyse incidents where security forces suffered heavy losses. Proactive approach along with aggression in thinking, operations and development such as road construction should be adopted.

  • Motivation and training

It was important for the stakeholders to make efficient use of resources and have knowledge of enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. Focus should be on training of security forces and providing them adequate facilities. Security forces must learn the culture and languages of the locals to earn their trust.

  • Actionable intelligence

It is important to establish a good network with the locals. Surrendered LWE cadre should be used for intelligence collection and there was a need to depute “Shadow Intelligence Officers” to trace prominent LWE targets.

  • Dashboard KPIs and KRAs

These should be determined for the state police and the central forces to assess their preparedness as well as performance.

  • Harnessing technology

Technology is a force multiplier and there was a need to use more of it such as as UAVs. Along with it high-resolution cameras, GPS tracking and satellite images must be used. To prevent looting of weapons by the extremists, there is a need to have trackers in weapons and biometrics and unique identification numbers for explosives.

  • Action plan for each theatre

To counter LWE in different states, there is a need to fight on multiple fronts and create separate action plans for each front.

  • No access to financing

Choking LWE’s financial resources was the “basic mantra” in this fight to prevent them from getting weapons, ammunition, and food. “The 9/11 incident was not a “failure of intelligence but the failure of imagination”. We have to work to “outthink” and and “outmanoeuvre” the LWE.

ii) Operation Green Hunt

It was an operation in Central India, an all-out offensive by paramilitary forces and the state forces. The operation is believed to have begun in November 2009 along five states in the “Red Corridor” namely Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

In September 2009 the press reported on the progress of “Operation Green Hunt”: a massive 3 day joint operation in which the central CoBRA force and state police battled Naxal forces in Dantewada.

iii) Salwa Judum

Salwa Judum (meaning “Peace March” or “Purification Hunt” in Gondi language) was a militia that was mobilised and deployed as part of anti-insurgency operations in Chhattisgarh, India, aimed at countering Naxalite violence in the region.

Salwa Judum started in 2006 as a people’s resistance movement against the Naxalites.

The militia, consisting of local tribal youth, received support and training from the Chhattisgarh state government.

The Supreme Court of India declared the militia to be illegal and unconstitutional, and ordered its disbanding. The Court directed the Chhattisgarh government to recover all the firearms, ammunition and accessories. The use of Salwa Judum by the government for anti-Naxal operations was criticised for its violations of human rights and poorly trained youth for counter-insurgency roles.

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