Round Table Discussion on Left Wing Extremism (LWE), ‘Current Trends and Issues’, at the Vivekananda International Foundation, 12 Sep 2019
Opening Remarks by the Director, VIF

I would like to thank you all for participating in today’s round table on ‘LWE: Current Trends and Issues’. A concept note has been circulated which briefly captures the data on LW insurgencies and raises some issues on which you would like to have your views.

Going by the data put out by the Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time, it appears that there has been significant decline in Left Wing Extremist (LWE) related violence. Number of incidence have declined by 43 percent in May 2014-Apr 2019 as compared to May-Apr 2014. The deaths during the same period have declined by 61 percent. A number of LWE affected districts have also gone down. Recently the government removed 44 districts from the list of LWE affected districts. The decline in the LWE related violence has been attributed by the government to a holistic approach adopted which combines security and developmental measures along with ensuring right and entitlement of local community, improving governance and perception management. There are several review mechanism in the government including at the cabinet secretary level to ensure the implementation of national police and action plan to address LWE.

Despite these positive trends, the fact remains that LWE problem has not gone away. From time to time security forces are attacked resulting in large number of deaths. The Maoist are also trying to find new areas including Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu (KKT) tri-junction as well as in the northeast. Recent development shown that the Maoist have sought to increase their influence in urban areas. Further, the Maoist continues to source their funds to extortion of businesses and cohesion of villagers. The connectivity in remote area.

The government media strategy and perception management efforts are also deficient. The coordination amongst states and central agencies requires improvement.

In today’s round table we would like to discuss some these issues and come with policy decisions.

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