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Maoist influence down to just 41 districts: Centre

Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a review meeting on Left Wing Extremism with the Chief Ministers and senior officials of the Naxal-affected States, in New Delhi on September 26, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@AmitShah  

The geographical influence of Maoists has contracted to only 41 districts in the country, a sharp reduction from 96 such districts in 10 States in 2010, according to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to Chief Ministers and other officials at a meeting held on Sunday.

“These miscreants have been pushed to a few pockets with only 25 districts accounting for 85% of the LWE violence in the country,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the meeting to review the security and other developmental aspects in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected States.

Chief Ministers of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telengana, Maharashtra and Odisha were present while Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Kerala were represented by Directors General of Police and Chief Secretaries. Andhra Pradesh was represented by its Home Minister.

Addressing the meeting, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren accused the Centre of slashing the number of LWE affected districts in the State that could avail ₹33 crore each under the Special Central Assistance (SCA) and Security Related Expenditure scheme for infrastructure related projects.

Mr. Soren said the MHA had raised a bill of ₹10,000 crore against Jharkhand and requested that the bills be written off and the “Government of India takes a decision not to send such bills to State governments in the future.”

As per norms, State governments have to reimburse the amount incurred on deployment of central armed police forces (CAPF) in a State.

Mr. Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a decision to bring down the fixed expenditure of States on deployment of CAPFs and the expenditure by States has reduced by about ₹2,900 crore in 2019-20 as compared to the 2018-19.

Mr. Soren also said Maoists have made an inaccessible place called Budha Pahar their sanctuary and a large portion of this area falls in Chhattisgarh and sought the neighbouring State’s cooperation for conducting a joint operation.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanded that the Union Home Ministry should conduct a study on how many children from LWE affected areas across the country are able to clear national level exams such as NEET, IIT-JEE. “If our systems continue to bypass these areas, it is not going to help the cause of people of LWE affected areas,” Mr. Patnaik said.

Mr. Shah said in the past two years, a successful effort has been made to increase the security camps in areas where security was not stringent, especially in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha.

Mr. Shah said those who want to give up arms and join mainstream are heartily welcome, but those who take up arms and hurt innocent people and the police, will be given the same response.

“The root cause of dissatisfaction is that development has not reached there in last six decades since Independence and now to deal with it, it is very essential to ensure accessibility to fast-paced development so that common and innocent people do not join them,” he said.

According to the ministry, there has been a gradual decline in the number of LWE incidents in the last decade. The incidents have reduced from 2,258 in 2009 to 349 incidents till August 31 this year. The number of deaths reduced from 908 to 110 during the same period. The Union Home Ministry first created the LWE desk, a separate department to address the Maoist issue in 2006.

“Few new areas have been identified as potential locations for emergence of this phenomenon. To arrest the expansion plan of the CPI (Maoist) and also to restrict them to bounce back in the areas recently taken away from LWE influence, 8 districts have been categorized as ‘District of Concern’. The revised categorisation is a more realistic representation of current LWE scenario,” the ministry stated.


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