Round Table Discussion on Counter Measures against Naxalism
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On Jun 19th, 2015, VIF hosted Lt. Gen VK Ahluwalia, formerly Army Commander Central Command, for a talk on ‘Counter Measures against Naxalism’, followed by a round table discussion. With General NC Vij, Director, VIF, presiding over the session, others who took part in the discussion included Satish Chandra, former Dy NSA, Rajiv Mathur, former IB Chief, AK Verma, former RAW Chief, Adm KK Nayyar, former Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Lt Gen RK Sawhney, former Deputy Chief of the Army Staff & former DGMI, and PK Mishra, former Additional Director General of BSF, among others.

General Ahluwalia’s presentation included a long overview of more than six decades’ old naxal insurgency in the country, followed by a string of counter naxal measures which he suggested as part of a strategy to contain the naxal violence. Taking a broad view of the extent of naxal insurgency in the country, the general said while the naxal presence is felt in large parts of central and eastern India, it is concentrated mostly in tribal dominated areas which are abysmally low on human development indicators. While the tribal areas are rich in natural resources, the tribals themselves have never been a part of India’s growth story. The exploitation of mining resources by private companies, often with connivance of state officials and willful neglect of governance in these areas, especially the wastage / loot of subsidies on cooking gas, food, and public works programme et al have led the tribals to being further alienated from the national mainstream. With naxalites feeding on this sense of depravation among the tribals, the naxal insurgency in the country gets further compounded with various state governments treating it as a law and order problem.

General Ahluwalia further said that most naxal incidents take place along inter state borders, making hot pursuit by the security forces even more difficult. He called for an institutionalized and integrated policy approach to deal with the problem of naxal insurgency in the country. General Ahluwalia’s prognosis to fight the naxal insurgency encapsulated a broad range of measures, including, among others, raising a specialized armed force at the central level where 80 percent of personnel are recruited from the local areas, providing legal cover to forces fighting the insurgency, grass-root political activities allowing people to voice their grievances, deeper penetration by the state apparatus into naxal infested areas, raising employment levels and skilling the masses, unity of effort and monitoring mechanism, action plan with short, medium and long term strategy, and raising the cost of insurgency for the naxalites. A lively interaction followed the talk. The discussions were moderated by General Vij who also summed up the proceedings.

Event Date 
June 19, 2015
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