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Shah vows to uproot Naxals, resolves to fight menace jointly with states

By PTI Updated: Aug 26, 2019 10:41 pm
Home Minister Amit Shah in a group photo with Union Ministers and Chief Ministers after a meeting on ‘Development Issues with Chief Ministers of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected States’, at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

New Delhi, Aug. 26 (PTI): The Centre and the Naxalism-affected states on Monday resolved to jointly fight the Left Wing Extremism, with Home Minister Amit Shah declaring that the Maoists are against the idea of democracy and will be uprooted, officials said.

Chief ministers Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh), Raghubar Das (Jharkhand), Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), besides top police and civil officials of 10 Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected states, attended the meeting where ongoing operations against Naxals and development initiatives were reviewed.

The state governments and the Centre resolved to fight the Maoist menace jointly, a home ministry official said.

“Had a very fruitful meeting with the CMs of the LWE affected states. Discussed several issues related to the security & development of these states. Left Wing Extremism is against the idea of democracy and under the leadership of PM @narendramodi we are committed to uproot it,” Shah tweeted after the meeting.

Top officials of paramilitary forces and the home ministry also attended the meeting, first-of-its-kind after Shah assumed charge as home minister about three months ago.

The 10 Maoists-hit states are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing the meeting, Bihar CM Kumar said the fight against Left Wing Extremism was a joint responsibility of the Centre as well as the states.

Kumar flagged the need for a change in the existing policy which put the entire financial burden of deployment of central forces in the Naxalism-affected areas on the state governments concerned.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel demanded more funds from the Centre to combat Left Wing Extremism in the state and said his government will eliminate the menace through development policies as well as providing security and generating trust among the people.

He talked about various issues related to security, coordination between states and development.

Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath said Naxal activities are fully under control in the state and the wheel of development is moving even in the areas affected by the menace.

Adityanath said the state is benefiting from the information exchange with bordering states.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said several top Naxal leaders have surrendered under the popular surrender and rehabilitation policy for the Naxalites to join the mainstream.

There has been 60 per cent decline in the Naxal-related incidents in Jharkhand between 2015 and 2019 as compared to 2010-2014, he said.

Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Narendra Singh Tomar, Arjun Munda and Mahendra Nath Pandey also joined the meeting later in the day and discussed with the chief ministers issues concerning roads, telecommunication, agriculture and others, another official said.

According to Home Ministry statistics, 8,782 cases of Naxal violence were reported during 2009-13 as against 4,969 during 2014-18, a reduction of 43.4 per cent.

As many as 3,326 people, including security force personnel, lost their lives in 2009-13 as against 1,321 in 2014-18, a reduction of 60.4 per cent, the ministry said.

Over 1,400 Naxals were killed during 2009-2018. As many as 310 incidents of Naxal violence have been reported in the first five months of this year across the country in which 88 people were killed.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had said last month that steadfast government policy has resulted in consistent decline in violence and shrinkage in geographical spread of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

LWE-related violence was reported in only 60 districts in 2018.

“Of these, only 10 districts account for 2/3rd of LWE violence. The LWE-related incidents of violence between April 2014 and May 2019 have been 43 per cent lesser when comparing with the preceding five-year period,” he said.

The National Policy and Action Plan, approved in 2015 to address LWE, envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security-related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities.

The government is also implementing a special central assistance for most LWE-affected districts with an annual outlay of INR 1,000 crore to fill critical gaps in public infrastructure and services.

By PTI Updated: Aug 26, 2019 10:41:05 pm