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Maoist insurgency in India: grievances, security threats and counter-strategies


Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter TerrorismJournal abstract

The adivasi insurgency, an offshoot of the colonial period, continued in independent India. Post-independence, government assurances to redress the forest and land rights remained mostly unimplemented. As an alternative, the adivasis joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist, CPIML). However, after neutralisation of the CPIML and failure to regain forest and land rights, the adivasis joined the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Witnessing the expanding threat from the Maoists, the government adopted a dual strategy. This involved first amending the Forest Act to woo the adivasis and second placing the Maoists on the terrorist list. However, not getting the expected results, the current Bharatiya Janata Party government adopted an integrated and holistic approach to rooting out the insurgency by further amending the Forest Act, offering attractive surrender-cum-rehabilitation incentives and launching an offensive against the Maoist leadership. Although the insurgency is contained, the operational fault lines still remain. This paper attempts to trace the antecedents of the adivasi grievances, the challenges posed to India’s internal security and counter-strategies adopted by different governments to contain the Maoist insurgency.

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