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IDSA Issue Brief


Countering the Naxals
Harinder Singh
Col. Harinder Singh is Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi

June 11, 2010

This essay attempts to weld the three prongs - governance, security and development - to better understand and handle the situation in the naxal affected states. Theoretically speaking, a three-pronged approach will have to be built around the conceptual framework of GRID-GUARD-GOVERN spanning the critically affected naxal belt. There is nothing new about the strategy except that it would have to be comprehensive in design and necessitate a "whole of the government" approach. The strategy presupposes the need to do away with the sequential application of socio-economic solutions, and which could sometimes be unsavourily politics or media driven, by undertaking security-led governance cum development action.

Countering the Naxals


India has been engaged in combating internal threats including armed rebellions since independence. It has applied a different approach in each situation, and over time has evolved principles, guidelines and procedures to deal with these challenges. It has learned that counterinsurgency campaigns are not just about winning wars, but about controlling the political violence at levels that enable the initiation of peace initiatives and the creation of an environment conducive to foster dialogue and negotiations. It has been fairly successful in handling the border state insurgencies, but the Naxal uprising poses an altogether different problem. A spate of violent incidents in recent months have raised a renewed demand for deployment of the Army, the use of Air Force in a support role, enhancement of the central government’s mandate and a review of the development agendas in the affected states. A section of civil society,…...

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