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Insurgency, Naxalism product of government's neglect: Stratfor

india Updated: Nov 29, 2009 14:28 IST

A leading US think tank has claimed the Indian government's "neglect" for rural areas has led to the problem of left-wing insurgency and called it a critical threat to the country's security.

Stratfor also raised doubts about the efficiency of security forces involved in countering the menace of Naxal threats.

"Naxalite threat is one of the most fundamental if not the most critical threat impacting Indian national security today. The intensity of the insurgency that we see today is the product of decades of government neglect for India's rural areas. This has provided fertile ground for the Naxalites to operate and hone their skills in insurgent tactics," said Reva Bhalla, Director-Analysis, Stratfor.

"Without a sustained developmental effort in rural India, the Naxalite insurgency will remain alive. India's internal security forces appear to be ill-equipped to deal with this threat," she told PTI.

Altogether 20 states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar face challenges from the Naxal elements.

Admitting that the Maoist threat was growing rapidly and needed urgent attention, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai in a meeting of Parliament's Standing Committee recently said that the government has no control over about 40,000 sq kilometre area in Naxal affected states.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that Naxalism has spread to 20 states across the country with over 2,000 police station areas in 223 districts partially or substantially affected.

On the role of Pakistan in nurturing terrorists, the Stratfor analyst said that there was a change in the policy by the neighbouring country to train fighters against India, which is country's biggest concern.

"It's well known that Pakistan has long had militant camps on its soil to recruit and train irregular fighters for use in both Afghanistan and India.

"...that policy has become a lot more complex lately as Pakistan's militant proxy project has unraveled and many militants have drifted into the transnational jihadi orbit dominated by al Qaeda. This is India's biggest concern right now," said Bhalla.

She said, "In earlier years, it wasn't too difficult for India to assign blame to Pakistan - the state - for large-scale militant attacks on its soil. Now, the link between patron and proxy in Pakistan has become blurred."