Internal Security Architecture Shortcomings – Key Forces, NIA, IB, CCTNS, etc.

Maoist Attack in Sukma


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Challenge of left wing extremism

The article deals with the counterinsurgency strategies to deal with the issues of left wing extremism in India

Threat of left-wing extremism

  • The killing of 22 security personnel by Maoists serves as a grim reminder that left-wing insurgency continues to be one of the biggest internal security threats for the country.
  • In the past few years, Maoist violence seemed to have been on a downward spiral.
  • The figures associated with the key indicators of violence like the number of incidents also support the contention that “insurgency is on the downward spiral”.
  • But the attack should thus serve as a wake-up call to those who had begun to get complacent about the Maoist threat.

Approach in counterinsurgency strategy

  • One school believes that given the Maoist insurgency posturing itself as a “people’s war”, the mandate is for a people-centric approach of “winning hearts and minds”.
  • Others argues that an enemy-centric approach predicated on kinetic operations is best suited for the Maoist insurgency, where the fear of the population seceding from India is remote.
  • The success of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh in curbing the Maoist problem is often attributed to this enemy-centric approach.
  • However, there is robust scholarly work available that shows that the Andhra government based its counterintelligence strategy on a judicious mix of the enemy-centric and population-centric approaches.
  •  Andhra Pradesh had successfully implemented short-gestation-period developmental works in the Maoist-affected rural areas.
  • Moreover, the erstwhile state is also the first state to have a comprehensive surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy.
  • After the 2014 guidelines of the central government were brought out, many states have crafted attractive surrender and rehabilitation policies.
  • Another important question is whether the government should keep the option of talking to Maoists open.
  • The willingness to talk to rebel groups seems to incentivise insurgents and may demonstrate that violence pays.
  • But bringing an end to civil war invariably involves negotiating with the enemy.

Way forward

  • Indian counterinsurgency has to work with a dual objective of defeating the insurgents militarily and fully quell the insurgent impulses.
  • This will need institutional overhauls.
  • In the last decade or so, insurgency-affected states have started to raise special forces on the lines of Greyhounds.
  • These forces are being given rigorous training in “counter-guerrilla” tactics and jungle warfare.
  •  Besides, the jungles around the interstate borders have always been the preferred hiding spaces for the Maoists.
  •  States must do more to synergise their efforts by launching coordinated operations, thereby denying Maoists any space for manoeuvrability.
  • These efforts need to be supplemented by well-crafted development schemes.
  • It is also important to segregate the population from the insurgents both operationally and ideologically.
  • The conflict over the distribution of resources can be mended with economic development.
  • But the bigger challenge would be to create a system where the tribal population feels that the government is representative, not repressive.
  • Opening negotiation channels and policies like surrender and rehabilitation can give such a representative sense to the rebels.

Consider the question “Discuss the causes of left wing extremism in India. Suggest the way forward to deal with the issue.”


The government needs to follow these policies to end the challenge of left wing extremism from India.

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