MAOIST/NAXALITE ATTACK IN SUKMA DISTRICT
A team of security forces was attacked by a People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) unit in the Tarrem area near the Sukma-Bijapur district border, Chhattisgarh. Several security personnel were killed and many were injured. PLGA was founded in 2000. It has been declared as a terrorist organisation and banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-1967 (UAPA).
About the Sukma District: Located in the southern tip of the state of Chhattisgarh, the district was carved out of Dantewada in the year 2012. It is covered with the semi-tropical forest and is a mainland of tribal community Gond. One major river that flows through the district is Sabari (a tributary of Godavari river). Over a few decades, this region has become a fostering ground for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities. Uneven terrains and the tricky geographic locations made this region a safer hideout for the LWE activists.
UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) ACT 1967
The UAPA was originally passed in 1967. It is an upgrade on the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act - TADA (lapsed in 1995) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act - POTA (repealed in 2004). Till the year 2004, “unlawful" activities referred to actions related to secession and cession of territory. Following the 2004 amendment, “terrorist act" was added to the list of offences. The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so. Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court. Both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged. It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India. It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
Amendment in 2019: In August 2019, Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists if the individual commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism or is otherwise involved in terrorism. A similar provision already existed in Part 4 and 6 of the legislation for organisations that can be designated as a “terrorist organisation”. The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency. The Act also empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
LEFT-WING EXTREMISM IN INDIA
Left-wing extremists, popularly known as Maoists worldwide and as Naxalites in India. The term Naxalism derives its name from the village Naxalbari of West Bengal. It originated as a rebellion against local landlords who bashed a peasant over a land dispute. The rebellion was initiated in 1967, with an objective of rightful redistribution of the land to working peasants under the leadership of Kanu Sanyal and Jagan Santhal. The movement has spread across the Eastern India in less developed areas of states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It is considered that Naxals support Maoist political sentiments and ideology. Maoism is a form of communism developed by Mao Tse Tung. It is a doctrine to capture State power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization and strategic alliances.
REASONS OF LEFT-WING EXTREMISM
Tribal Discontent: The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 has been used to target tribals, who depend on forest produce for their living. Massive displacement of tribal population in the naxalism-affected states due to development projects, mining operations and other reasons.
Easy Target for Maoists: Such people who do not have any source of living are taken into naxalism by Maoists. Maoists provide arms and ammunition and money to such people.
Gaps in the Socio-Economic system of the Country: Government measures its success on the basis of the number of violent attacks rather than the development done in the naxal-affected areas.
Absence of strong technical intelligence to fight with naxalites. Infrastructural problems, for instance, some villages are not yet connected properly with any communication network. No Follow-Up from Administration: It is seen that even after police take hold of a region, administration fails to provide essential services to the people of that region. Confusion over tackling naxalism as a social issue or as a security threat.
RELATED GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES
Greyhounds: It was raised in 1989 as an elite anti-naxal force.
Operation Green Hunt: It was started in 2009-10 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas.
LWE Mobile Tower Project: To improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government in 2014, approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States.
Aspirational Districts Programme: Launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
SAMADHAN: It 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, and
N- No access to Financing.
This doctrine is the one-stop solution for the LWE problem. It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels.
Though the number of incidents of LWE violence has come down in the recent past, continued efforts and focus are needed in eliminating such groups. Government needs to ensure two things; security of the peace-loving people and the development of the naxalism-affected regions. Centre and states should continue with their coordinated efforts in development and security both where Centre should play a supportive role with state police forces taking the lead. Government needs to undertake technological solutions such as the use of drones to minimize loss of lives of security personnel.
Q.1 Recently, in which of the following districts of Chhattisgarh, A team of security forces was attacked by an armed wing of the communist party of India?
- Bilaspur District Border
- Bastar-Balod District Border
- Sukma- Bijapur District Border: ANSWER
- None of the above
Q.2 In which of the following year does the Communist Party of India (Maoist) was founded?
- 21st September 2004: ANSWER
- 15th September 2008
- 6th January 1991
- 18 December 206
Q.3 Which of the following is the armed wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) who are responsible behind the recent attack in Chhattisgarh?
- Communist Ghadar Party of India
- People’s Liberation Guerilla Army: ANSWER
- United National Liberation Front
- None of the above
Q.4 Which of the following statements is/are correct in the reference to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-1967 (UAPA)?
- The UAPA which was originally passed in 1967 is an upgrade on the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act - TADA (lapsed in 1995) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act - POTA (repealed in 2004).
- Till the year 2014, “unlawful" activities referred to actions related to secession and cession of territory. Following the 2014 amendment, “terrorist act" was added to the list of offences.
- Only I follows: ANSWER
- Only II follows
- Both I & II are correct
- None is correct
Q.5 Which of the following is not an initiative related to tackling with the left-wing extremism in India?
- LWE Mobile Tower Project
- Operation Green Hunt
- None of the above: ANSWER