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Naxalite Attacks Reported in Chhattisgarh and Assam


Recently, two separate incidents of Naxalite attacks were reported:

  • In the Kanker area of Chhattisgarh, security forces conducted one of the largest operations, resulting in the killing of 29 Naxalites.
  • In eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district, three vehicles of the paramilitary Assam Rifles were ambushed in another incident.


GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding Naxalism
  2. Causes of Naxalism
  3. Government Initiatives to Combat Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)

Understanding Naxalism

Origin and Name

  • Derives its name from Naxalbari village in West Bengal, where it originated as a rebellion against local landlords over a land dispute.

Spread and Characteristics

  • Spread across Eastern India, particularly in less developed areas of states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Left-wing extremists (LWE), also known as Maoists globally and Naxalites in India, lead the movement.

Ideology and Objectives

  • Advocate for armed revolution to overthrow the Indian government and establish a communist state based on Maoist principles.
  • View the state as oppressive and exploitative, seeking to address socio-economic grievances through armed struggle and people’s war.

Activities and Strategies

  • Engage in guerrilla warfare, attacks on security forces, extortion, intimidation, and propaganda.
  • Aim to capture state power through armed insurgency, mass mobilization, and strategic alliances.
  • Target government institutions, infrastructure, economic interests, collaborators, and informants.
  • Operate parallel governance structures in certain controlled areas, providing basic services and dispensing justice.
Status of LWE in India
  • Trends in Violence
    • 2022 witnessed the lowest number of violent incidents and deaths in Naxal-hit areas in the last four decades.
    • Violent incidents reduced by 77% in 2022 compared to the peak in 2010.
    • Number of affected districts dropped from 90 to 45.
    • Deaths of security forces and civilians in LWE violence decreased by 90% in 2022 compared to 2010.
States Affected by LWE
  • Affected States
    • Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala.
  • Red Corridor
    • Central, eastern, and southern regions of India experiencing severe Naxalism-Maoist insurgency.

Causes of Naxalism

Economic Factors

  • Thrives in underdeveloped regions with high poverty rates.
  • Adivasi and Dalit communities face social exclusion and lack access to basic necessities, fostering resentment and receptiveness to Naxalite ideology.
  • Displacement of Adivasis from traditional lands due to mining and development projects creates anger and a sense of injustice, exploited by Naxalites.

Exploitation and Marginalization

  • Tribal communities vulnerable to exploitation by landlords, moneylenders, and mining companies, positioning Naxalites as protectors against such exploitation.
  • Dalits, facing social and economic marginalization, may find Naxalism appealing as it challenges the existing caste hierarchy.

Weak Governance

  • Flourishes in areas with weak government presence and poor infrastructure, allowing Naxalites to operate with less interference.
  • State governments often neglect addressing Naxalism, considering it a central government issue, leading to a lack of initiatives to combat it.

Perceived Failure of Democratic System

  • Naxalites believe the democratic system has failed to address their needs and grievances, offering a violent alternative path to change.

Impact of Globalization

  • Discontent with the impact of globalization, particularly displacement due to land acquisition for corporations, can contribute to Naxalite support.

Operational Challenges

  • LWE groups operate in remote and inaccessible areas with dense forests and hilly terrains, making it challenging for security forces to track them down.

Government Initiatives to Combat Left-Wing Extremism (LWE):

Operation Octopus:

  • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has undertaken a significant operation known as ‘Octopus’ in the heavily mined ‘Burha Pahar’ hilly range within the Garhwa district, bordering Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
  • This operation marks a substantial success, marking the first instance where the force successfully eliminated Naxal influence from the area.
  • Operation Double Bull: Launched in the dense jungles of the Bulbul area in Lohardaga and neighboring districts of Jharkhand.
  • Greyhounds: Established in 1989 as an elite anti-Naxal force.
  • Operation Green Hunt: Commenced in 2009-10, entailing a massive deployment of security forces in Naxal-affected regions.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme: Introduced in 2018, with the objective of swiftly transforming districts that have exhibited comparatively slower progress in key social indicators.
  • SAMADHAN doctrine: A comprehensive strategy for addressing the LWE issue, encompassing short-term and long-term policies formulated at various levels. SAMADHAN stands for:
    • S – Smart Leadership,
    • A – Aggressive Strategy,
    • M – Motivation and Training,
    • A – Actionable Intelligence,
    • D – Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas),
    • H – Harnessing Technology,
    • A – Action plan for each Theatre,
    • N – No access to Financing.


  • A special initiative under the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (formerly Ajeevika Skills), launched in June 2013.
  • ROSHNI focuses on providing training and placement opportunities for rural youth from 27 LWE-affected districts across nine states.
  • Additionally, the government has undertaken measures such as intelligence sharing, and the establishment of separate units like the 66 Indian Reserved Battalion (IRBs), as well as specialized CRPF battalions including the COBRA battalion and Bastariya battalion, aimed at curbing the activities of LWE organizations.
  • Efforts by civil society and peace activists to broker ceasefires and facilitate dialogue between the Maoists and security forces, advocating for the pursuit of tribal causes through democratic channels, have been met with resistance from the insurgents.

-Source: The Hindu

May 2024