MoS Nityanand Rai said the number of districts contributing approximately 90 per cent of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Naxal violence, categorised as most LWE affected districts, came down to 30 from 35 in 2018 and further to 25 in 2021.
New Delhi [India], March 23: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that the geographical spread of Naxal violence reduced to 46 districts in 2021 as compared to 96 districts in 2010.
Sharing the details in a written reply, the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the decline in the geographical spread is also reflected in the reduced number of districts covered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.
Rai further said that the number of SRE districts was reduced from 126 to 90 in April 2018 and 70 in July 2021.
Similarly, the Minister said, the number of districts contributing approximately 90 per cent of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Naxal violence, categorised as most LWE affected districts, came down to 30 from 35 in 2018 and further to 25 in 2021.
He mentioned that the steadfast implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan to address LWE- 2015 has also resulted in a consistent decline in violence, which has reduced by 77 per cent from an all-time high of 2,258 in 2009 to 509 in 2021.
"Similarly, the resultant deaths (Civilians and Security Forces) have reduced by 85 per cent from the all-time high of 1,005 in 2010 to 147 in 2021," said Rai.
In data compiled by the MHA, the Minister said 50 security personnel were killed in LWE incidents in 2021, followed by 43 in 2020 and 52 in 2019.
Only one security trooper was killed in Bihar in 2019 between 2019 and 2021. Similarly, one security man was killed in LWE incidents in Telangana in 2020 between 2019 and 2021. However, three security personnel were killed in Odisha– one in 2019 and two in 2020– between 2019 and 2021.
A maximum of 45 security personnel were killed in LWE incidents in Chhattisgarh in 2021, followed by 36 in 2020 and 22 in 2019.
Maharashtra and Jharkhand witnessed a sharp decline in LWE incidents, and not a single security personnel was killed in such incidents in the state in 2021. The number was three in 2020, against 16 reported in 2019. In Jharkhand, five security personnel were killed in 2021. The number was one in 2020 against 12 in 2019.
To address the LWE menace holistically, the Minister said, a National Policy and Action Plan was launched in 2015 to address LWE.
"The policy envisages a multipronged strategy involving security-related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities," he added.
On the security front, the Central government supports the LWE affected state governments by providing Central Armed Police Forces battalions, helicopters, training, funds for modernisation of State police forces, arms and equipment, sharing of intelligence and construction of Fortified Police Stations, said the Minister.
"The Centre also provides funds for capacity building of the LWE affected states under various schemes, like SRE Scheme and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) to fight the LWE menace effectively," he said.
Under SIS approved in 2017, projects worth Rs 371 crores have been sanctioned for strengthening Special Forces (SF) and Special Intelligence Branches (SIB) for LWE operations and 250 Fortified Police Stations worth Rs 620 crore in vulnerable LWE affected areas, said Rai.
Under the SRE scheme, Rs 2,259 crore has been released to states since 2014-15.
The Centre has taken several specific initiatives on the development front in LWE affected states. Special thrust has been given to expanding road network, improving telecommunication connectivity, skill development and financial inclusion.
More than 10,300 km of roads have already been constructed in LWE affected areas under specific schemes like Road Requirement Plan (RRP-I) and Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RCPLWEA).
The Minister said a total of 2,343 mobile towers were installed under Phase-I, and work order has been issued for 2,542 towers under Phase-II of Mobile Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas, and Rs 3,078 crore has been released to the Most LWE Affected Districts under the scheme Special Central Assistance (SCA) to fill the critical gaps in public infrastructure and services.
A special focus has been given on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of the youth in these areas, said the Minister, adding "47 ITIs and 68 Skill Development Centres (SDC) have been approved under "Skill Development Scheme in 47 districts affected by LWE".
For financial inclusion of the local populace in these areas, 1,236 bank branches were opened, 1,077 ATMs installed and 14,230 Banking Correspondents made functional in Most LWE affected districts in the last six years.
Further, 4,903 Post Offices have been approved for LWE affected areas in the last five years, of which 3,053 have been made functional.
Apart from the specific schemes for LWE affected areas, the Minister said, MHA works in close coordination with other Ministries for optimum implementation of the flagship schemes of those Ministries in LWE affected areas. (ANI)