Naxal Violence: The Threat Within

Gurmeet Kanwal and Dhruv C Katoch

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The causative factor for the existence of the Naxal movement in India is ideological. Today, 196 districts are affected by it. Of these districts, 35 have been seriously impacted where the writ of the state is either weak or almost nonexistent. The spread of Naxalism is an indication of the sense of desperation and alienation that has swept across large sections of India. Naxal violence in the red corridor and beyond has increased owing to the failure of the central and state governments to satiate the needs of the locals and meeting their basic expectations.

Outreach efforts of Naxalites for arms, training, finance, ideology, drugs trade, and to forge a broad front against the ‘common enemy’ –India, are a matter of concern. They have established linkages with the Maoists of Nepal, militant groups operating in northeast India, anti-India actors both state and non-state based in Pakistan, and umbrella organisations at regional and global levels. The military might of the CPI (Maoist) has grown to a sizeable force of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) and continues to challenge the Indian state. The series of violent incidents against the state agencies and abduction of government personnel highlights the degree of concern that the problem demands. This volume is a compilation of papers that aims to address the various perspectives of what the Prime Minister of India has oft declared to be the most serious internal security challenge facing the nation. An in-depth study of the characteristics of the Naxal movement, the book covers the genesis, causative factors, strategy, linkages of the movement and the options and challenges for the Indian state. Recommendations for conflict resolution are also charted out in the book. Now is the time to systematically deal with the threat before it transforms into a potent force.

Gurmeet Kanwal and Dhruv C Katoch Brig Gurmeet Kanwal commanded an infantry brigade on the Line of Control (Operation Parakram, 2001-03) and an artillery regiment in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir Valley (Operation Rakshak, 1993-94). Formerly Director Security Studies, Observer Research Foundation; Senior Fellow, IDSA; and Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies; at present he is Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi. Brig Kanwal has authored several books, including Nuclear Defence: Shaping the Arsenal; Indian Army: Vision 2020; Pakistan's Proxy War; Heroes of Kargil; Kargil '99: Blood, Guts and Firepower and Artillery: Honour and Glory and writes on national security issues for leading newspapers.
Maj Gen Dhruv Katoch commanded a Mountain Division in the North East and was the Chief of Staff of a Corps in the Western Sector before retiring from service. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College, New Delhi, he has served in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, commanded a battalion on the Line of Control in J&K and a Sector in the North East. He also writes on non-military matters – both fiction and issues of societal concern. He is presently Additional Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

 

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