Maoist Reminder – Don’t lower the guard against Maoists | 28th April 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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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.

Way Forward:

  • 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.

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