Expansion of Red Corridor



  • Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Naxalism originated in Naxalbari in West Bengal, as result of a peasant uprising led by Charu Majumdar
  • Naxalism ideology is based on a mix of 3 ideological threads- Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. They aim to overthrow the Indian State through an armed struggle and capture political power to bring about New Democratic Revolution in India. They claim that only through this revolution will the contradictions between the masses and feudal elites vanish.
  • The Red Corridor is a region in the eastern part of India that experiences considerable Naxalite–Maoist insurgency. 
    • The corridor is almost continuous spanning from India’s border with Nepal to northern Tamil Nadu
    • Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa have most districts infested by LWE
    • There are 106 districts spanning across 10 States in the Red Corridor.’ Of these, 44 districts are worst-affected

Reasons for rise of Left Wing Extremism-

  • Absence of adequate land reform in states leading to sense of deprivation among the masses
  • Industrialisation and Mining activities leading to displacement of communities and lack of percolation of benefits to the local population. 
  • Mismanagement of forests and forest rights- Denial of forests rights to tribals and diversion of forests land on which they depended for their livelihood
  • Exploitation of tribals and peasants by moneylenders
  • Tribal policies adopted by the government led to further alienation and lack of basic amenities
  • Inter and intra-regional disparities- Unbalanced development and benefits not reaching to all
  • Inadequate reach of state leaving a political vacuum in some areas

Extent of Problem

  • The Left Wing Extremists aim to bring about an armed struggle against Indian state. For this they resort to tactics such as attacks on armed forces and establishments, establishing a parallel governance structure, extortion and looting.
  • A number of attacks on security establishments especially in Chattisgarh have been reported in the recent years.
  • However, the year 2015 saw the lowest Maoist violence in six years with 1,088 incidents and 226 deaths being reported as compared to 2,213 incidents, in which as many as 1,005 people lost their lives in 2010.
  • This year, though the number of Maoist-related incidents has seen a spike, with 605 incidents and 161 deaths reported till June 30, compared to the 592 incidents and 120 deaths during the same period last year

Government interventions

  • Unified Command in the States of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha, which constituted of officers from the security establishment, besides civilian officers representing the civil administration and it will carry out carefully planned anti-LWE measures.
  • Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme: Funds are provided for meeting the recurring expenditure relating to insurance, training and operational needs of the security forces, rehabilitation of Left Wing Extremist cadres who surrender in accordance with the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the State Government concerned, community policing, security related infrastructure for village defence committees and publicity material.
  • Scheme of Special Infrastructure: To cater to critical infrastructure gaps, this cannot be covered under the existing schemes. These relate to requirements of mobility for the police / security forces addressing special need of the forces in these areas. 
  • Central Scheme for assistance to civilian victims/family of victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal violence: The broad aim of the Scheme is to assist families of victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal violence.
  • Integrated Action Plan: The Planning Commission is implementing the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for 78 Selected Tribal and Backward Districts for accelerated development. The aim of this initiative is to provide public infrastructure and services in 78 affected / contiguous Districts.
  • Road Requirement Plan for LWE areas: for improvement of road connectivity in 34 most LWE affected districts in 8 States
  • Civic Action Programme: Under this scheme financial grants are sanctioned to CAPFs to undertake civic action in the affected states. This scheme aims to build bridges between the local population and the security forces.
  • Additional Central assistance for LWE areas focuses on creation of public infrastructure and services
  • Skill development in LWE districts
    • Roshni (part of Deendayal Upadhyaya Gramin Kaushalya Yojana); training and placement of rural poor youth.

Recent revisions to Red Corridor

  • The Union government is set to reduce the number of Maoist-affected districts by about a fifth.
  • Approximately 20 of the 106 districts that have been described as being Maoist-affected and are part of the Red Corridor may soon no longer be part of the list
    • Once these districts are taken off the list of Red Corridor, the financial aid made available to these districts annually for various developmental works will dry up.
  • The 106 districts that span 10 States — Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — are described as those affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and constitute the ‘Red Corridor.’
  • The considerations on which the government has examined the districts with LWE features are: their violence profile, an assessment of the kind of logistical and other support provided to armed Maoist cadres by their sympathisers and “over ground workers”, and the kind of positive changes brought about by development work that these districts have seen.
  • For instance, for the last four years in Bankura, West Midnapore, Purulia and Birbhum districts of West Bengal, there has been no reported incident of Maoist-related activities. Even so, a senior government official pointed out, two battalions of central armed police (roughly 1,000 men comprise a battalion) continue to be deployed there, as West Bengal has staunchly opposed the withdrawal of forces. The implication: they could be better deployed elsewhere.

Way Ahead

  • Handling the violent aspects of Left Wing Extremism with force in an exemplary manner; zero tolerance to violence
  • Greater focus on development of affected districts; making sure public services reach all
    • Convergence of schemes in left Wing extremism areas
    • Infrastructural development in  these areas to prevent feeling of alienation
  • Better implementation of Forest rights act
  • Effective, responsive and efficient administration with greater transparency, social audits of schemes
  • Empowering Panchayats in the LWE areas to ensure greater say to the locals ensuring effective decentralisation of power.
  • Sensitisation of police and forces engaged in the LWE areas; checking excessive use of force.
  • Rehabilitation policy for Naxalites who have left violent path
  • With respect to the decision to reduce the number of LWE affected districts, there is a need to be careful as it could have spillover effects-When LWE is checked in districts neighbouring these excluded districts then extremism could spill over to these districts by way of extremists taking refuge in them.

Source: xaam.in

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