Is there a link between rising Government expenditure on fighting Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and the number of Naxalites surrendering? We don’t know but data sourced by IndiaSpend from the Home Ministry shows a sharp drop in surrenders, from 2,131 in 2005 to 393 in 2011.
It could be argued that the two are not linked at all. Broadly speaking though, increased Government spend on policing is surely helping tackle Naxalism.
In an earlier report, we put the spotlight on the Government’s expenditure on Left Wing extremism and asked if it was sufficient even though it had risen through the years.
Rs 549 cr Spent On Naxalism
A Right To Information (RTI) petition has now revealed that the Government released Rs 549 croresunder the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme between 2006-07 to 2010-11.
Note that this is Central Government expenditure. Constitutionally, police and public order fall under the purview of the State Government. The task of tackling Left Wing Extremism lies mainly with state governments.
The Central government however closely monitors the situation and supplements the efforts of the states. The Centre provides security forces. It also modernizes and upgrades the State Police and their Intelligence apparatus under the Scheme for Modernisation of State Police forces (MPF Scheme).
Lower Naxal Surrenders
Under the SRE Scheme, the Centre reimburses expenditure related to insurance, training and operational needs of the security forces, and also for LWE cadres who surrender, community policing, security related infrastructure by village defence committees and publicity material.
There are 83 LWE affected districts in 9 states, namely; Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Our RTI petition revealed the Centre has released Rs 549 crores under the SRE Scheme to the 9 LWE Affected states from 2006-07 to 2010-11.
We discovered, importantly, that there is a drop in the number of Naxals that have surrendered to the government from the year 2005 up till the 15th of January 2012. In 2005, about 2,131 Naxals had surrendered. In the year 2011, around 393 Naxals had surrendered. And within the first 15 days of 2012, 3 Naxals surrendered.
No Of Naxal Surrenders Since 2005
|State||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012 (upto 15.01.2012)|
In order to bring Naxalites back into the mainstream, each State has its own surrender and rehabilitation policy. The Government of India has however approved revised guidelines for the surrender-cum-rehabilitation of Naxalites in the LWE Affected states. The rehabilitation provides for an immediate grant of Rs 1.5 lakh, a stipend of Rs 2,000 for 3 years, vocational training and incentives for the surrender of weapons.
The fight against insurgency goes on. The Centre continued to provide more funds after the Union Budget 2011-12. The first set of Supplementary Demand for Grants for 2011-2012, released in August 2011 released more funds. Some of these funds might be allocated to non-insurgency related expenditure though they all fall under expenditure on policing.
Funds From Supplementary Demand For Grants To Fight Insurgency
|Expenditure Heads||Money Allotted To Fight Insurgency (Rs Cr)|
|Creation Of Capital Assets||100|
|Grants To State Governments||650|
|Assistance To Indian Reserve Battalion||45|
Source: Supplementary Demand For Grants 2011-12, Home Ministry