You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!

SOURCE: Narendra Modi Website

Since becoming Prime Minister in 2014, Shri Narendra Modi has worked towards permanently resolving the chronic problems plaguing the nation. Left-Wing extremism was one such big liability. Referred as India’s biggest internal security challenge, the Maoist insurgency, which started in the 1960s and destroyed several generations, has now lost its appeal altogether.

It happened due to a multi-pronged strategy of the Modi government involving security- measures, development interventions, and ensuring the rights and entitlements of local communities. Maoists, often called Naxalites, had managed to draw support from disgruntled citizens, especially tribals, who believed they had been exploited and not benefited from the fruits of economic growth. Incidents of Maoist violence and deaths have dropped drastically in the last decade, pointing to waning rebel influence.

To combat the menace of Maoism, the Prime Minister guided a collaborative approach between the Centre and the states, due to which there has been a considerable reduction in extremist incidents over the past ten years.

The Modi Government believes that unless the country is wholly rid of the problem of Left-Wing extremism, the entire development potential of India cannot be realised. Narendra Modi’s government formulated a ‘National Policy and Action Plan’ 2015 to deal with the threat of Left-Wing extremism. The policy advocated zero tolerance towards violence. The Modi government then assisted states in modernising and training police forces. This includes funds for special infrastructure, planning and security-related expenses.

Similarly, the Centre has initiated many development projects, including sanctioning 17,600 km of roads in areas prone to Left-Wing extremism. In addition, the states also provided helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for regular monitoring. CAPF battalions were also deployed on the states’ request to enhance the states’ capacities and security network. India Reserve Battalion was also formed in different states further to augment the capabilities of the state police forces to combat Left-Wing extremists.

Under the umbrella of the modernisation of police forces, many other sub-schemes are being implemented in the states affected by Left-Wing extremism. These include special funds for augmenting infrastructure. Projects worth ?971 crore were sanctioned as part of such sub-schemes. These projects also consist of 250 fortified police stations, of which over 200 have already been constructed. Maintaining a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism, the government has enacted stringent laws to curb its spread. To modernise the police, the ‘Police Technology Mission’ was established to create the world’s best anti-terrorism force in India.
The Modi government has created a separate division in the Ministry of Home Affairs for combating Maoism. It has been named the Left-Wing Extremism Division. It includes all references to Maoism under the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and other Left-wing extremist organisations listed in the schedule of terrorist organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.

PM Modi’s Government has also sent messages to the Left-Wing extremists to abandon violence and come forward for talks. In general, it is the backward tribal communities who have fallen prey to Naxalist violence. Most of the civilians killed are tribals who are often brutally tortured and labelled as police informers before being murdered. In reality, these tribal and economically backward classes, whom the Maoists claim to support, have been the biggest victims of the so-called ‘Protracted People’s War’ against the Indian nation by the CPI (Maoist).

195 new camps of Armed forces have been established to counter the Naxalites, and an additional 44 camps would be set up for a decisive battle against them. To strike at the funding of Left-Wing extremism, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are working in tandem with the security agencies of the states. Modi Government has increased the compensation to the families of deceased victims of Left-Wing extremism from ?5 lakh to ?20 lakh in 2017, and it has now been further increased to ?40 lakh. The government has taken several steps to accelerate development in the states affected by Left-Wing extremism. Special attention is being given to sectors such as road construction, telecommunication, financial inclusion, skill development and education for the benefit of the local population.

The Road Requirement Plan (RRP) for areas affected by Left-Wing extremism is being implemented by the Modi government to improve road connectivity in 34 districts across eight states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. This plan envisaged the construction of 5,362 kilometres of roads, out of which over 5,100 kilometres have already been completed. To enhance mobile connectivity in regions affected by Naxalism, the Modi government approved the installation of mobile towers in these areas in August 2014, and in the first phase of the project, 2,343 mobile towers were installed. In the second phase, 2,542 mobile towers are being installed.

Under the Special Infrastructure Scheme, the Modi Government has initiated over 14,000 projects to speed up development in districts most affected by Left-Wing extremism. Over 80% of these projects have been completed. Also, projects worth ?992 crore have been approved to strengthen state intelligence branches, special security forces and squads in the affected states. The government has nearly doubled its expenditure on security after 2014.

In areas affected by Left-Wing extremism, the Civic Action Programme is being implemented as a sub-scheme for the modernisation of police forces and to act as a bridge between security forces and the local population. Since this programme displays the people-friendly behaviour of the security forces, it has successfully mentored people against the extremists. Under this scheme, funds are released to the Armed Police Forces deployed in areas affected by Left-Wing extremism to conduct various civic activities for the welfare of local people.

The Government of India has undertaken various developmental initiatives to facilitate the development of states affected by Left-Wing extremism. These include the approval of 17,600 kilometres of roads and mobile towers installed to improve telecommunication connectivity in the affected districts. Post offices, bank branches and ATMs have been established, and banking correspondents have been deployed to ensure the financial inclusion of the people in these districts. The fight against Left-Wing extremism has reached a significant phase, and the government is firm about eliminating it completely.

All these efforts have paid rich dividends. Maoist violence-affected areas have been consistently shrinking. Since 2014, as a result of these efforts, the lowest violence and deaths in the last four decades were recorded in 2022.

Comparing the period from 2005 to 2014 with 2014 to 2023, there has been a reduction of over 52% in Left-Wing extremism-related violence, a 69% decrease in deaths and a 72% decrease in casualties among security forces.

The Government of India believes that by focusing on development and security initiatives with a comprehensive approach, the problem of Left-Wing extremism can be successfully addressed. Regarding national security matters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to achieve its objectives without any compromise.