Modi government has been taking action against all sort of anti-national elements from quite sometime. Now it vows to eliminate the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) in the next two years, Union home minister Amit Shah confirmed it on Friday, while emphasizing that the areas where the influence of red ultras has ended, need to be monitored continuously to avoid revival of activities.
“We have achieved significant success against left-wing extremism in 2022 and 2023, and this year we must resolve to end it completely in the next two years. This fight has now reached a decisive stage,” Shah said while chairing the LWE review meeting.
The home minister also asked agencies to ensure that Naxals do not switch their base(s) to new territories.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, chiefs of all central armed police forces (CAPFs), central intelligence and investigation agencies, and representatives and chiefs of states affected by Naxal violence, attended the review meeting in Delhi on Friday.
Underlining that the security vacuum areas in states affected by Naxalism have been shrinking since 2019, Shah said security forces have established 195 new camps (inside the core areas of Naxals), while 44 more new camps will be established.
“Deployment of CAPFs against left-wing extremism, rationalization of development and setting up camps in vacuum areas are the priorities of the (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi government,” Shah said.
Shah stressed there is “a need to maintain constant surveillance in the areas liberated from LWE so that this problem does not revive there again”.
“There is also a need to monitor that left-wing extremists from areas where this problem has been eliminated do not take shelter in other states,” Shah added.
Referring to the government’s zero-tolerance policy against LWE since 2014, Shah said this policy has resulted in a reduction in the number of violent incidents and deaths recorded in 2022, the lowest in past four decades.
“There has been more than 52% decline in LWE-related violence, 69% in deaths, 72% in deaths of security personnel and 68% in civilian deaths, between 2014 and 2023 compared to the period from 2005 to 2014,” the home minister said.
Shah said probe agencies, including the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), are also working closely with all state agencies to seize and stop the funding of LWE, while further asking affected states to make efforts by forming a joint team of civil and police administration to choke the financial support.
On the development projects undertaken in affected states, Shah said “Special attention is being given to areas like road construction, telecommunication, financial inclusion, skill development and education.”
“The Centre has launched more than 14,000 projects under the special central assistance (SCA) scheme to accelerate development in the districts most affected by LWE. More than 80% of these projects have been completed and Rs.3,296 crore has been released to LWE-affected states under the scheme,” Shah added.
The Union home ministry shared the LWE-related data on Friday after the meeting, according to which 14,862 incidents of violence were reported between May 2005 and April 2014, and this number has come down to 7,128 between May 2014 and April 2023.
Similarly, the number of fatal incidents has come down from 6,035 to 1,868 during this period. Currently, the number where LWE violence is being reported is just 45, as compared to 96 in 2010, according to the data.
“Instead of applying security (defensive) policy against the militants, an attacking (offensive) policy has been implemented, which has given results,” said a counter-terrorism official.
Naxal Terrorism footprints reducing due to constant efforts of Modi Government
The number of overall LWE-linked terrorist incidents fell from 676 in 2021 to 602 in 2022. In particular, incidents of killing came down from 124 in 2021 to 107 in 2022. Seven of the 107 overall incidents of killing were major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities) in 2022.
In 2021, the number of major incidents was 15. Resultant fatalities from major incidents declined from 114 (seven civilians, 30 SF personnel, and 77 Naxalites) in 2021 to 22 (one civilian, three SF personnel, and 18 Naxalites) in 2022. In 2023, the number of overall LWE-linked incidents was 169, of which 32 were incidents of killing. Two major incidents have already been recorded in 2023.
The SF:Maoist kill ratio remained in favour of the SFs in 2022, at 1:4.46, the best since 2000, surpassing the previous best of 1:4.03 in 2016. In 2021, the ratio was at 1:2.5. The ratio has remined in favour of the SFs since 2011, when it was at 1:1.53. In 2010, the SF:Maoist kill ratio shifted to 1.01:1, favouring the Maoists. Since March 6, 2000, the overall kill ratio has been in favour of the SFs (1:1.61). In the current year, the kill ratio is in favour of the SFs at 1:1.11, so far (data till April 6, 2023).
SFs arrested 395 Naxalites in 2022, in addition to 409 in 2021, according to partial data compiled by SATP. In the current year, as on April 6, 2023, 122 arrests had been recorded. Significantly, since March 6, 2000, a total of 15,993 has been recorded.
The mounting pressure on Naxalites has yielded a large number of surrenders over the past few years. According to SATP, at least 2,855 Naxalites surrender through 2022, in addition to 533 in 2021. During the current year, as on April 6, 2023, the number of surrenders was 97. Since March 6, 2000, a total of 16,581 LWEs have surrendered.
Through 2022, SFs recovered arms from the Maoists in 190 incidents, in addition to 268 such incidents of recovery in 2021. During the current year, as on April 6, 2023, the number of such incidents are 58. Since March 6, 2000, a total of 4,694 incidents of arms recovery are documented.