Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE - ACHINTA BORAH

Forty-four dis­tricts in the coun­try are no longer un­der the in­flu­ence of Maoists or have neg­li­gi­ble pres­ence and most of the Left Wing Ex­trem­ism is now con­fined only to 30 worst-hit dis­tricts.

Union Home Sec­re­tary Ra­jiv Gauba said the geo­graph­i­cal spread of the LWE vi­o­lence has shrunk sig­nif­i­cantly in the last four years due to a multi-pronged strat­egy in­volv­ing se­cu­rity and de­vel­op­men­tre­lated 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 PTI in an in­ter­view here. Gauba said sig­nif­i­cant fea­tures of the an­tiNaxal 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 LWEaf­fected dis­tricts.

These dis­tricts are cov­ered un­der the Se­cu­rity Re­lated Ex­pen­di­ture (SRE) scheme for the pur­pose of re­im­burse­ment of se­cu­rity-re­lated ex­pen­di­ture like trans­porta­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, hir­ing of ve­hi­cles, stipend to sur­ren­dered Maoists, con­struc­tion of in­fra­struc­ture for forces etc. This cat­e­gori­sa­tion pro­vided the ba­sis for fo­cused de­ploy­ment of re­sources - both se­cu­rity and de­vel­op­ment re­lated.

Over the last few years, a num­ber of dis­tricts have been carved into smaller dis­tricts. This has re­sulted in the geo­graph­i­cal area of the 106 SRE dis­tricts be­ing spread over 126 dis­tricts. The MHA has re­cently un­der­took a com­pre­hen­sive ex­er­cise in con­sul­ta­tion with the states to re­view the af­fected dis­tricts in or­der to en­sure that de­ploy­ment of forces and re­sources is in sync with the changed ground re­al­ity.

Ac­cord­ingly, 44 dis­tricts have been ex­cluded and 8 new dis­tricts have been added to the list of SRE dis­tricts as a pre-emp­tive step to check any at­tempts by Maoists to en­hance area of in­flu­ence.

There­fore, the to­tal num­ber of SRE dis­tricts now stands at 90, an­other of­fi­cial said.

Sim­i­larly, the num­ber of worst Lwe-hit dis­tricts has also come down to 30 from 35.

There has been a sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment in the LWE sce­nario in last four years. In­ci­dents of vi­o­lence have seen a 20 per cent de­cline with a 34 per cent re­duc­tion in re­lated deaths in 2017 as com­pared to 2013, the of­fi­cial said.

Among the 90 dis­tricts, 32 dis­tricts have re­ported no vi­o­lence in last few years while only 58 dis­tricts have re­ported vi­o­lence in 2017.

At the same time, cer­tain new dis­tricts have emerged as the fo­cus area where se­cu­rity forces were de­ployed with vigour af­ter car­ry­ing out a re­view of the over­all de­ploy­ment of se­cu­rity forces.

In or­der to counter Maoist ef­forts to ex­pand their in­flu­ence in tribal ar­eas at the tri­junc­tion of Ker­ala, Kar­nataka and Tamil Nadu, three dis­tricts of Ker­ala have been in­cluded in the list of SRE dis­tricts, de­spite the fact that there is no vi­o­lence in the new dis­tricts and the move is pre-emp­tive.

The re­vised cat­e­gori­sa­tion is a more re­al­is­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the ac­tual LWE sce­nario, the of­fi­cial said.

As part of the re­de­ploy­ment strat­egy, greater strength has been given in new ar­eas by pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional mine pro­tected ve­hi­cles, bul­let-proof jack­ets and ex­ten­sive use of Un­manned Aerial Ve­hi­cles and he­li­copters. "There has been con­certed ef­forts to fill up the se­cu­rity vac­uum," the of­fi­cial said. The cen­tral gov­ern­ment is also pro­vid­ing Rs 1,000 crore as 100 per cent grant to 35 LWEaf­fected dis­tricts un­der the In­te­grated Ac­tion Plan (IAP).

The util­i­sa­tion of the fund is de­cided by a com­mit­tee headed by the District Col­lec­tor and con­sist­ing of the Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice of the District For­est Of­fi­cer.

The district-level com­mit­tee has flex­i­bil­ity to spend the amount on de­vel­op­ment schemes of their choice based on the need of the district.

The com­mit­tee draws up plans which in­cludes con­crete pro­pos­als for pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices such as school build­ings, an­gan­wadi cen­tres, pri­mary health cen­ters, drink­ing wa­ter sup­ply, vil­lage roads, elec­tric lights in pub­lic places such as PHCS and schools, etc. An in­ter-min­is­teral meet­ing, held re­cently un­der the chair­man­ship of Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh, has also al­lowed the state gov­ern­ments to give en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance up to 40 hectares of for­est land in Lwe-hit ar­eas for car­ry­ing out de­vel­op­ment works.


Para­mil­i­tary per­son­nel with their arms and am­mu­ni­tion ready to leave for their re­spec­tive polling sta­tions in Maoist af­fected ar­eas of Jhark­hand on the eve of Ranchi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Elec­tions in Ranchi on Sun­day

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