Homeland Security

Left Wing Extremism
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Issue Vol 24.3 Jul-Sep2009 | Date : 12 Jan , 2011

The Grey Hound Model. The Grey hound model of elite State Police Forces – specifically trained and equipped for CI/CT operations has been a far more successful model. The STF of J&K and Punjab Police had proved equally successful. These had employed a large number of ex-servicemen from the Army’s elite Special Forces and other Regiments and had performed excellently. This model should urgently be replicated in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa. The states must make optimal use of the large number of Short Service Commisioned officers who are optimally trained and released every year as also infantry and Special Forces Personnel who retire each year at a relatively younger age. However, such Special State Police forces still do not solve the problem of inter-state coordination which can only come with the introduction of a Central Force.

If an across the board paramilitarization of the police is ruled out and if the CRPF will need 10 or more years to transform itself for the offensive CI/CT operations role, what other options do we have, especially if the Naxalite situation deteriorates further. The urgent response options are just three :

  • Rashtriya Rifles. Urgently raise two more RR Divisions with 30–40% recruitment from the tribal areas. This should be deployed to form a classical CI Grid in the Core 8 Naxalite effected districts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar. During the late Gen BC Joshi’s tenure as Chief, 30 RR battalions had been raised within a time period of just one year.
  • Regular Army Divisions. The Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand area was the jungle warfare training area of the Indian Army for the Burma Theatre in World War II. The two new Divisions to be raised for the Chinese front could be put through their initial paces in the CI Operations in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. It would make them combat hardened and prepare them for their eventual role in Arunachal Pradesh/other forested border tracts.
  • RR and Regular Mix. The optimal requirements is for 30 RR/Infantry Battalions. This could be done by an optimal mix of RR and Regular Infantry Battalions. We could go in for one RR and a Regular Division to be raised post haste for employment in the 8 Core Districts of the insurgency.


The threat of Left Wing Extremism cannot be viewed in isolation from the external threat environment. India is in a classical two front situation with China to the north and Pakistan to the west. Internal security is fast emerging as a third front. China has grown out of the Deng era posture of “hide your capabilities and bide your time”. It is aggressively showcasing its capabilities through its recently conducted Fleet Review and a proposed major military exercise focused on the South China Sea, which will focus the resources of four Military Regions on a single war zone.

Also read: Limitations of Technical Intelligence

Chinese rhetoric on Arunachal Pradesh is on the rise. Internal Security is fast emerging as a third front with LWE and Jihadi terrorism emerging as significant threats. India therefore does not have the luxury of 8 to 10 years to resolve her Internal Security issues. She has a narrow time window of 3 to 4 years at best. As such, this would compel us to utilize forces in being or those which do not need radical re-structuring/ transformation. Much as one would like to avoid it, two additional RR or Regular Infantry Divisions are the only viable response options. Letting the Police try and fail to fight a full scale tribal insurgency for 10 years and then fashion a military response in an environment of external stress would amount to a lack of strategic perspective that would ensure that we tackle our strategic threats sequentially and not all at once. It would be better for the fire brigade to intervene even as the fire starts and not wait for half or two thirds of the house to burn down. It may then be a classic case of ‘too little too late’.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Maj Gen GD Bakshi, (Retd)

is a war Veteran and Strategic Analyst.

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One thought on “Left Wing Extremism

  1. Calling them names won’t help, I guess. We cannot eeitrmxnate a group of people because they are violent. First off, we are not capable of doing that. Secondly, there are more sane solutions to every problem. What we’ve got to do in the long term is to understand the causes of the birth of a terrorist. And terrorist means everybody who terrorizes by mass destruction and violence.

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