Sunday, June 16, 2013

Red terror: Demands and way to settle issues

The CPI (Maoist), the main Left Wing Extremist (LWE) group, has been trying to expand its activities in various States of the country. The States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha are considered badly affected by Left Wing Extremism. The States of West Bengal and Maharashtra are considered partially affected. The States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are considered slightly affected States. There is substantial improvement in the situation in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, whereas LWE violence has remained low-key in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

This was stated by Shri Jitendra Singh, Minister of State of Home Affairs in the Rajya Sabha today.

It is further clarified around 26 districts in India account for nearly 80% of the total LWE violence. The total number of ‘violence affected’ districts has to be viewed in this overall context. The details of damage to the government property is not fully maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

During the high level meetings held with the Chief Ministers, the Chief Secretaries and the Director Generals of Police of the Left Wing Extremism affected States, the latest LWE scenario in the country is generally reviewed. In these meetings, a number of strategic and tactical issues concerning security and development interventions are discussed to fine tune counter-LWE strategy.

The Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme of the Government of India provides ex-gratia payment of Rs.1 lakh to the family of civilians killed and Rs. 3 lakh to family of security personnel killed due to naxal attacks. Under the Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilians Victims/Family of Victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal Violence, an amount of Rs.3 lakh is given to dependants of deceased civilians for death or permanent incapacitation. Besides this, the State Governments have their own policy for payment of ex-gratia to the families of civilians and security personnel killed in naxal attacks.

In order to contain LWE, review of existing laws and formulation of new laws and institutions is a continuous process depending upon the requirements and ground realities. The Central Government has taken various measures to control Left Wing Extremism which includes augmenting the strength of Central Armed Police Forces; establishment of National Security Guard (NSG) hubs at Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai; strengthening and re-organizing of Multi-Agency Centre to enable it to function on 24x7 basis; and sanctioning of new Specialized India Reserve Battalions (SIRB). The Central Government also proposes release of funds under the Special Infrastructure Scheme to the States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha to raise Special Task Force to combat LWE. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 has been amended to strengthen the punitive measures. 

                              The naxalites' demands
Here is a set of demands of the People's War (P.W.), listed under 10 categories.
Ø  A democratic atmosphere should be created in the State. The government should respect people's right to fight for their democratic demands.

Ø  The government should not prevent agitations, peaceful demonstrations and meetings.

Ø  Lift the ban on the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) P.W. and other organizations.

Ø  Scrap the system of rewards on workers of P.W., People's Guerilla Army and other mass organizations.

Ø  Scrap Grey Hounds, Special Security Forces, and the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) and withdraw the Central paramilitary forces.

Ø  Release all political prisoners.

Ø  Scrap the system of giving acceleratory promotions and unofficial incentives to police officers who kill naxalites in fake encounters.

Ø  Scrap the informant network in villages. The government should end the practice of winning over P.W. workers and using them as covert agents.

Ø  Control `lumpen' gangs such as Green Tigers, Kranti Sena, Palnadu Tigers, Tirumala Tigers and Nayeem Gang.

Ø  Order a judicial probe into all fake encounters and punish the police officers responsible.

Ø  Lift all cases registered against workers of mass organisations and other revolutionary parties.

Ø  Implement reforms in the agricultural sector.

Ø  Implement land reforms. Handover to the occupants the endowment, government, and forest land and lands belonging to landlords already occupied by people. 

Ø  Implement the Land Ceiling Act. 

Ø  Complete all pending irrigation projects. Farmers should be given irrigation facilities and supplied adequate power. 

Ø  Waive all private loans taken by the farming community to stop suicides by farmers. 

Ø  Prepare a permanent and integrated plan for tackling the drought situation. 

Ø  Scrap corporate agriculture.

Ø  Implement policies of industrialization and other schemes based on local resources in place of the liberalization, privatization and globalization policies being followed now.

Ø  Withdraw all World Bank projects and schemes supported by imperialists. 

Ø  Stop the retrenchment of workers and the privatization of public sector enterprises (PSEs). 

Ø  Protect small- and medium-scale industries from competition by multinational companies (MNCs) and revive cooperative and other PSEs. 

Ø  Withdraw user charges on drinking water, education and health services. 

Ø  Scrap all agreements with the World Bank, MNCs and other countries.

Ø  Recognise the tribal people's rights on forest.

Ø  Announce autonomy for the tribal people. 

Ø  Implement the "1/70 Act", which provides protection against the alienation of land held by tribal people in scheduled areas to non-tribal people. Stop settling of non-tribal people in areas inhabited by tribal people. 

Ø  Initiate steps to develop and support tribal languages.

Ø  Form a separate Telangana State.

Ø  Formulate an integrated plan for the development of backward regions of North Coastal and Rayalasseema areas.

Ø  Punish those who belittle the self-respect of Dalits. Take action against police officers and upper-caste members responsible for attacks on Dalits in Karamchedu, Tsundur, Neerukonda and Vempenta.

Ø  Provide job reservation for Dalits in the private sector.

Ø  Equal property rights for women.

Ø  Reservation for women in the private sector. 

Ø  Stringent punishment for those who commit atrocities on women.

Ø  Implement total prohibition.

Ø  Order a probe into the illegal amassing of wealth by officials, politicians and capitalists; corruption scandals by officials and politicians.

Ø  Recover money from the affluent who evade taxes.

   What can be done to tackle the issue?
Ø  Strengthening national protection system
Ø  Support social change
Ø  Promote the empowerment of youth
Ø  Capacity building and knowledge management with tribals
Ø  Effective forest policies

Protective environment framework that include some broad elements
1)    Governmental commitment to fulfilling the protection rights of tribal
2)   Proper legislation and enforcement of laws
3)   Open discussion with local governments
4)   Ensure health, education and basic facilities to tribal people
5)   Ensure participation of the youth
6)   Implement target services to the local people
7)   Proper monitoring of government schemes and over sight
8)   Cross sect oral approach where government, non-government sectors work for the people to ensure basic facilities
9)   Social change
10) Need to understand the culture of tribes
11)  Special forces to tackle Naxalite issue especially where special forces are experienced in

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