In a significant indicator of the shrinking arc of influence of Left-wing extremists, the government has removed 44 districts from the list of 126 Naxalism-hit districts. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said the geographical spread of the LWE violence has shrunk significantly due to a multi-pronged strategy involving security and development-related measures.
“There is no influence or negligible presence of LWE in 44 districts and most of the Naxal violence is confined now only to 30 worst-affected districts,” he told in an interview to a news agency.
Gauba further said significant features of the anti-Naxal policy were zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to developmental activities so that benefits of new roads, bridges, telephone towers reach the poor and the vulnerable in the affected areas.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had categorised 106 districts in 10 states as LWE-affected districts. The revised list of districts affected by Maoist violence and activity was approved by the Union home ministry as part of its redrawn security-related expenditure.
The number of worst-affected districts has also gone down from 35 to 30, with three districts in Jharkhand and two districts in Bihar no longer in the list.
The new list of LWE-hit areas now includes 90 districts, of which only 58 had seen violence in the past year, spread across 11 states.
Under the SRE scheme, the Centre reimburses security-related expenditure incurred by the states on transportation, communication, hiring of vehicles, stipend to surrendered Maoists, construction of infrastructure for forces etc, in LWE-affected districts.
(With inputs from PTI)