Indian State Counterinsurgency Policies: Brief Historical Summaries

Publication Year
Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

This report summarizes major policy changes since 1990 in India’s efforts to combat its communist insurgency. The Naxal insurgency in India originated in a 1967 uprising in West Bengal by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Most of the modern Maoist groups evolved from splinter groups of CPI- Marxist. Two of those splinter groups united in 2004 to form CPI-Maoist, the primary force in today’s conflict. CPI-Maoist and all other Naxal groups are designated as terrorist organizations. The conflict is concentrated the Eastern part of the country, particularly an area known as the Red Corridor. As of 2017, 104 districts in 13 states are affected by Naxal violence, down from a 2009 high of 195 districts in 16 states. Under India’s Constitution, maintenance of public order is the responsibility of States. The affected States have approached the insurgency with a mixture of policies including negotiation, development programs, and security programs. The Center government has also instituted programs to assist affected states, primarily through funding State programs.

Additional Authors
Katherine Ingram, Emefa Addo Agawu

ESOC Policy Paper, Princeton University

Publication Topic
Publication Type
Policy Report