What's the article about?
- It talks about a recent Maoist attack as well as the trend of Maoist activity in India.
- GS3: Linkages between Development and Spread of Extremism.
- Ten security personnel returning from a counter-insurgency operation and a civilian driver were killed when Maoists blew up their vehicle in Dantewada of Chhattisgarh.
|Left-wing extremism, also known by various other names such as Naxalism and Maoism, is a form of armed insurgency against the State motivated by leftist ideologies. Left-wing extremists are also known as Maoists globally and as Naxalites in India.|
- Complacency of the security forces:
- After a gap of two years, the Maoists have struck in Chhattisgarh.
- The security forces will track down the killers for sure, but the deaths are a reminder of how any deviation from the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in Maoist-affected territories is fraught.
- Complacency can extract a heavy price. The Dantewada incident is of a piece with previous Maoist attacks on security forces — the same season, terrain, and a similar pattern of attack, wherein a convoy tracking intelligence information is targeted with precision and a prior plan.
- Trend of Maoist movement in India:
- The Maoist movement in India is shrinking. From being the greatest internal security threat to our nation the Maoist movement is now restricted to pockets, mainly in Chhattisgarh.
- As per Home Ministry records, Maoist violence has come down by 77 per cent since 2010, and deaths of security forces and civilians have declined by 90 per cent.
- The number of Naxal-affected districts has come down from more than 200 in the early 2000s to 90, with violence mostly reported from 25 districts.
- The Maoist movement is hardly a force now in states such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar, once its strongholds.
- However, the Maoists have taken advantage of the Southern Chhattisgarh geography, a forested terrain bordering Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana with poor transport and communication facilities, to build a base.
- In recent years, security operations have turned the heat on the movement and impaired its ability to recruit and operate freely.
- With the emphasis on violence, the Maoist movement has also hollowed out as a political project and seems hardly in a position to expand its cadre base.
- At the same time, the state has not only expanded its security muscle but has also built both physical and social infrastructure in left-wing extremism-affected districts and worked on development projects.
- The combination of policing, rehabilitation packages and welfare succeeded in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other states, where Maoism had peaked in the 1970s and 80s.
- Chhattisgarh has been a late entrant in anti-Maoist operations. It wasted precious time on civilian militias like Salwa Judum before course correcting to train its police force and expand the welfare outreach.
- This is the right path as evident from the sharp decline in Maoist attacks and killings. The task is to pursue with the strategy — without lowering the guard.