From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 3- LWE challenge
The article highlights the issues facing India’s internal security architecture and suggests the restructuring of roles and capacity building to address the challenge.
Recent setback to internal security (IS) capability
- The COMBING OPERATION by local and central police forces in the Tekulguda region of Bastar went terribly wrong and resulted in the death of 22 security personnel.
- This tragic incident is a major and embarrassing setback to the IS (internal security) capability of India at many levels and highlights the challenge that LWE (left-wing extremism) continues to pose.
- India has been dealing with three variants of the internal security challenge for decades.
- These three are: 1) a proxy war and terrorism in Kashmir 2) sub-national separatist movements in the Northeast. 3) the Naxal-Maoist insurgency ( LWE) in the Red Corridor.
- And these challenges have warranted different responses.
- The first two strands have been reasonably contained.
- LWE and the current Maoist movement has its genesis in poor governance, lack of development in the tribal belt and an oppressive/exploitative hierarchy of the state and society.
- In November 2005, then PM Manmohan Singh described the LWE challenge as the most serious security threat to India and exhorted the professionals to evolve appropriate responses.
Need for restructuring
- One of the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) report was the restructuring of the role and the tasks of the para-military forces particularly with reference to command and control and leadership functions.
- This critical component of restructuring the leadership of the central police forces (in this case the CRPF and BSF) has not been addressed, much less redressed.
- By training, the police officer is expected to be a competent Superintendent and to maintain law and order.
- This is not the skill-set that is relevant when an officer has to “command” and lead his men into insurgency operations.
- In the current scenario, barring a few exceptions, many of the senior police officers (IPS cadre) who are introduced into the central police forces at senior ranks have little or no platoon/battalion experience.
Consider the question “What are the factors making Left Wing Extremism such a persistent internal security problem for India? Suggest the measure to improve the internal security architecture in India.”
The political leadership of the country needs to act and complete the task of restructuring and capacity building to address India’s internal security challenge.