“We Will Fight Against Somber Times And
Against Slave Ideology.
Will Fight Because You Get Nothing Without Fighting.
We Will Fight In Memory Of Those Who Have
Sacrificed Their Lives While Fighting.”
of a Quote from a Naxalite Poster
Left Wing Extremism in
Wing extremist, also Known colloquially known as Maoists and Naxalites has been
perceived as major if not the most credible internal security threat to India’s
national security. There are more than 30 Left Wing Extremists groups in
operation in the country. The objective of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is to
wage an armed revolution, modelled on the lines of the Chinese revolution,
which they often call as New Democratic Revolution. Communist political
movement in India emerged in 1920 and over a period of time grew into many streams.
While all of its proponents profess adherence to the ultimate goal of building
a classless society, there are disagreements about the methodology and strategy
to achieve it. The origin of use of violence as a means of achieving the
ultimate goal, can be traced back to the Naxal movement in 1967.
India being the largest
democracy in term of population base & also one of fastest growing
economies is deeply concerned about the security developments that occur both
within & beyond the borders. Among the various internal security threats
India face at present, LWE remains a major challenge since its origin in 1967.
The magnitude of the threat can be assessed by the fact that close to 60
districts in India are seriously affected by LWE. Till now the onus of combating
LWE has been with various State Police & CAPF/PMF. However inadequacy of
the Police & CAPF/PMF has led to discussion of a possible future active
Combat role for Indian Army in LWE affected areas. The discussions have often
quoted the long experience of Indian Army in Combating Insurgency &
terrorism in NE, Punjab & J. However,
the fact that the terrain, sit, ground realities, environment & Players of
LWE are in total contrast with other insurgencies in India where Indian Army
has been employed in an active role. The
research will seek to identify these differences and Changes required to negate
the deficiencies at tactical level, for Indian Army to be employed in Combating
LWE in a future scenario.
Figure 1 : LWE Conflict Map
of India 2017, Based on 2016 Data
In his book, The Naxal
threat : Causes, State Responses & Consequences, Lt Gen VR Raghavan(retd),
one of the leading military strategic thinkers, brings out the genesis, root
causes, growth of naxalism, its present status and response by the state and
its outcome. In chapter six he explains the various challenges faced by Police
and other CAPF/PMF in combating LWE/ Naxals. In a gist it has been attributed
to lack of sound strategy and other inadequacies at Operational and Tactical
level including lack of resources, training, intelligence and leadership.
Mr VK Ahluwalia in his book Rd Revolution
2020 and beyond in a similar manner has covered all facets of the genesis,
ideology, ground realities, strategic challenges and also the strategy for
conflict resolution. He goes on to suggest a possible active role for Indian
Army in combating LWE and the requirement and justification for doing so.
In his article, Employment
of Armed Forces against the Naxals, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik has attempted to
validate, why armed forces should not be employed to actively combat LWE.
However, he has also visualised a limited participation, primarily in training,
Intelligence gathering, leadership
training and provision of air assets including UAVs. He has justified as to why
Police and CAPF/PMF should be the lead agency for combating LWE.
Previous research conducted
at the DSSC on the subject includes analysing the threat posed by LWE, Need for
a National Strategy for combating LWE, Changes required in the training of
CAPF/PMF and Implications & future dimensions of threat.
of the Gaps. The
majority of the literature available has primarily been concentrated upon the
genesis and rai-son d’etre for spread of LWE ideology and use of violence as
means of achieving the ends. The socio-econ reasons for the rise of LWE has
also been well researched upon. The various researchers have also focussed on
the state response to handle the issue and also the inadequacies and failure of
government strategy in able to contain or resolve the issue. The reasons for
failure of Police and CAPF/PMF to combat the LWE has been also identified by
many, and use of Indian Army to combat LWE has been suggested as a final
measure. However no research has been carried out in identifying the various
inadequacies in Indian army to take on such a task. Therefore, it is imperative
to conduct a research on identifying such lacunas and suggesting remedial
The a/m Topic has the
following Research Problems :-
Salient aspects of differences between LWE
& Other Insurgencies in India.
Changes reqd in tac level trg of Indian Army.
Changes reqd in conduct of tac ops.
Changes reqd in wpn & eqpt.
Changes in structuring of units/ subunits.
Framework & methods of Int Collection
& HR Trg.
of the Study
The Indian Army has been
actively employed in countering various Insurgencies in NE, Punjab, J&k and
has been successful in containing and eliminating certain Insurgencies. Over a
period of time the Indian Army has evolved a methodology and Strategy to
counter these Insurgencies. However the primary role
of the Army remains to safeguard the nation against external threat. To combat
a particular insurgency the army has to undergo changes at both operational and
tactical level which involves changes in training, structuring of
units/subunits, weapon and equipment profile suited to meet the requirements
and also the conduct of various tactical operations. It is pertinent to mention
that all these changes are peculiar to and Insurgency based upon the
geographical location, demographic pattern, terrain, Insurgent groups, and
actual ground situation. Therefore, to understand the peculiarities of and
insurgencies and more importantly to identify the changes required to
successfully combat the Insurgency is of paramount importance.
The specific objectives of
the study are as follows :-
The changes required in the existing weapon
and equipment profile of the Indian Army to successfully conduct tactical level
operations in LWE affected areas.
Changes required in Conduct
of various tactical operations.
Changes required in the
organisational structure of units/subunits and recommended restructuring.
The hypothesis is “For Conduct of successful tactical operations (Quantifiable) in LWE
affected areas in a possible future active employment scenario (Dependent
Variable) there are changes required in the Indian army with
respect to its current weapon and equipment profile, Tactical operations
methodology & Organisational Structure at Unit/Subunit Level (Independent Variables).”
of Data Collection – Primary.
Pilot Survey. A
pilot questionnaire was prepared and sent to a sample comprising ten students
from B Division of DSSC, Wellington.
(aa) Questionnaire. A final Questionnaire comprising 16 questions
based on Likert’s scale & two Yes/No type questions. The questionnaire
attached as Appendix A was fielded
in ‘Google Forms’.
(ab) Sample. The responses of Questionnaire are awaited.
of Data Collection – Secondary.
There is ample amount of
literature available on the LWE and various aspects related to it including
specific to Indian context. However, there is almost no literature available
specific to the topic chosen.
AND GENESIS OF METHODOLOGY AND CONDUCT OF TACTICAL OPERATIONS IN LWE AFFECTED
of Conduct of Anti LWE Tactical Operations
There is no ambiguity in
stating that LWE and the violence associated with it is the most intriguing and
dangerous impediment to the internal security situation and National security
of India. However, it will be grossly incorrect to categorise it as a law and
order problem. It is a complicated case of amalgamation of tribal, socio,
economic, political and cultural problems of the local populace of the LWE
affected areas. The graveness and seriousness of the problem has been
historically neglected by the consecutive governments and policy makers.
However, it was only after the surge in the violence that the policy makers at
the apex level realized the gravity of the situation. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had described the LWE
as “India’s biggest internal security challenge ever” (Akhoury 2006).
Recognising the LWE movement as a serious problem, Prime Minister (PM) Modi
urged the extremists to “shun the gun for a few days and visit the families
affected by their violence … Those children would certainly inspire misguided
youth to lay down arms forever…This experiment will force you to change your
heart and make you shun your violent means”1.
Therefore, once the Policy makers and the government realised the seriousness
of the issue it contemplated taking steps to control the violence and resolve
the issue. The first logical step in resolving the issue is to restrict and
control the violence. Before, analysing the methodology of conduct of anti LWE
operations, it is imperative to briefly review the genesis and evolut the LWE
phenomenon in India.
Brief Overview of the Historical Perspective
of LWE/ Naxal Phenomenon In India. Detailed
elaboration of the rise and evolution of LWE in India is beyond the scope of
this research. However, it will be pertinent to draw out the genesis of the LWE
phenomenon so as to deduce the philosophy and nature of violence promulgated by
Naxal groups. The pre Independence nature and evolution of LWE/ Mao inspired
activities is well documented. However, if parallels has to be drawn to the
existing situation, then it all started in 1967. The LWE/ Naxal ideology
inspired violence started in year 1967 in Naxalbari district of West Bengal by
the Santhal Peasants.2 The
movement was led by fiery leaders like Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal. This led to forming of the CPI – ML. The rebellion
gained support in rural areas of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The violence
was specifically channelized towards Class enemies. However, soon it began expanding
into urban spaces as well, especially in Kolkata. As per the records, there
were a total of 4000 cases of violence attributable to Naxal movement between1970-71.
The government and Police at that time were proactive and undertook numerous
operations to curb the movement. The operations and specific Naxal related
violence per se culminated with Operation Steeple Chase I ( 1 Jul – 15 Aug
1971). The success of the Police and in certain cases even small level participation
by the Army, can be attributed to facts that the tribals were poorly armed,
there was a lack of centralized leadership and command structure and the areas
where the rebellion occurred had good connectivity leading to faster reaction
by the security forces. The movement further deteriorated and weakened due to
emergency. However, it had also led to emergence of groups like MCC in Bihar.
Vivekananda International Foundation. LWE – A Brief Security Review. New Delhi,
Vifiindia.org, Jul 2017.
GD. LWE in India : Context, Implications
& Response Options. Manekshaw Papers. New Delhi : CLAWS Journal, 2009 :