When Bharatiya Janta Party was contesting General Elections 2014, national security was one of its main focus areas during the campaign. The election manifesto clearly stated ‘Zero Tolerance on Terrorism’. PM designate from BJP, Narendra Modi stressed upon it in almost every election speech. The Home Affairs Ministry was assigned to the experienced and balanced leader Rajnath Singh. The outcomes on this front are encouraging. During last four years, terrorism no doubt has declined within boundaries of Bharat. Due to better intelligence coordination and preemptive action, 2017 became a year without any bomb-blast almost after a decade.
There are remarkable achievements on taming the terrorism in North-Eastern states. Record number of terrorists are gunned down in Kashmir. But the most impressive and lasting success has been achieved in taming the Left-Wing Extremism or popularly known as Naxal terrorism or Naxalism.
NDA Government adopted a comprehensive National Policy and Action Plan to deal with Left Wing Extremism (LWE). This multi-pronged strategy is focused on security measures, developmental interventions and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities in LWE affected areas.
This strategy enunciated ‘SAMADHAN’ by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The elements of this strategy are:
S for Smart Leadership,
A for Aggressive Strategy,
M for Motivation and Training,
A for Actionable Intelligence,
D for Dashboard-based Key Result Areas and Key Performance Indicators,
H for Harnessing Technology,
A for Action Plan for Each Theatre and
N for No access to Financing.
Implementation of this strategy has been very encouraging. Over the last four years, there has been a substantial improvement in the LWE scenario.
- Incidents of violence have seen a 20% decline with a 34% reduction in related deaths in 2017 as compared to 2013.
- The geographical spread of LWE violence has also shrunk from 76 districts in 2013 to just 58 districts in 2017.
These impressive outcomes were the result of that multi-pronged approach which stressed upon development along with security in LWE affected areas.
The remarkable reduction in Naxal terrorism has been achieved due array of various development projects. These projects range from road construction to education and skill development.
- NDA Government has approved Road Connectivity Scheme for construction of 5412 km roads and 126 bridges/culverts in 44 LWE affected districts with an estimated cost of Rs. 11,725 crore. Ministry of Rural Development has done remarkable progress on this project.
- For better air connectivity, the Airport at Jagdalpur in the heart of Maoist core area will be operational very soon. Railway line Hajipur-Sagauli, Giridih-Koderma, Deoghar-Sultanganj is nearing completion.
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources has undertaken several solar parks, solar lighting and solar pumps schemes for providing low cost energy to LWE affected States.
- 15 ITIs and 43 SDCs have been completed in LWE districts under skill development programs in the LWE affected districts by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
- Under educational initiatives, eight new Kendriya Vidyalayas and five new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalays have been sanctioned in the most LWE affected districts, which did not have any KVs/JNVs.
- Department of Telecom has worked on Mobile Towers to ensure the commendation in LWE areas. Total 2329 mobile towers have been installed.
- In addition to these development measures, NDA government has approved Special Central Assistance for 35 most LWE affected districts. The scheme will continue for 3 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with total outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore. In coming years, one can expect total eradication of naxal terrorism from these districts.
- NITI Aayog has launched an initiative for rapid transformation of relatively backward 115 districts including 10 districts of Chhattisgarh.
- Even though ‘Police and Public order’ are state subject but central government has implemented Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme for rehabilitation and assistance of surrendering naxal cadres. Surrendered Naxalites will also be imparted training in a trade/vocation of their liking and shall be paid a monthly stipend of Rs. 6000/- for three years. In addition, incentives for surrender of weapons/ammunition are also provided under the scheme.
Impressive result against Naxal terrorism is the outcome of this multi-pronged approach of the central government. Due credit must be given to capable leadership and effective governance for implementation of such successful strategy. Preemptive, preventive and progressive measures are not always laud and visible, but their impacts are lasting.
With confinement of left-wing extremism, the internal security has been fortified and strengthened during last four years. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be given a big applaud for these tremendous effort.
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