New Delhi:Underscoring the need for Centre-State synergy to wipe out Left-Wing Extremism (LWE), Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday stressed on the need to check flow of fund to LWE organisations.
Describing Left Wing Extremism as one of the major internal security challenges faced by the nation for the last several decades, he said these outfits use violence to subvert the democratic process at the ground level.
Addressing the review meeting here with the Chief Ministers of Maoist-affected states, Mr Shah observed that LWE organisations are against democratic institutions and development of hinterland.
"They actively seek to prevent development in the least developed regions of the country. Their strategy is to misguide people and keep them ignorant. The PM's vision of 'New India' is the strength of holistic, last-mile development, and it is therefore essential to get rid of the menace of LWE violence," he said.
Noting the success of security forces against LWE violence, the Home Minister said that the last few years have seen a decline in number of districts affected by LWE incidents, and the number of incidents have also gone down as well.
From the high 2258 events of LWE violence in 2009, the events have come down to 833 in 2018. The number of deaths dropped from 1005 in 2009 to 240 in 2018. From 96 districts affected by naxal violence in 2010, the number of districts affected was reduced to 60 in 2018, the Home Minister stated.
Elaborating the multidimensional strategy followed by the Centre in this regard which includes use of advanced technology, sharing intelligence, rising of 66 Indian Reserve Battalions (IRBs) by the Centre, he also emphasised on capacity building of local forces, since it is strong local forces that can effectively neutralise LWE organisations from their areas.
"LWE cannot be eradicated without the vigilance and efficiency of the local police in the militancy affected states, hence their role is important. He asked the states to use central schemes and their own budget for police modernisation", Mr Shah stressed. Appreciating the steps taken by the States, he also called upon them to rationalize their surrender policy to mainstream innocent individuals caught in the trap of LWE violence.
The Home Minister said that apart from the flagship schemes of various ministries, specific initiatives have been taken by the Central Government for areas affected by LWE, which mainly include improving road and telecom connectivity, financial inclusion, skill development and education. He specifically talked about accelerating the pace of opening up of schools under Eklavya model as well as ensuring the presence of banking facilities within five KMs to all citizens.
Talking about the National strategy to counter LWE formed in 2015, Mr Shah said that it was a multipronged approach consisting of security, development and ensuring participatory governance and rights for local tribals, inter alia.
He said that under this strategy, the protection of the rights of local citizens is the priority. He also urged the states to adopt a focused, time-bound approach to completely eliminate the menace and ensure all-round development of affected regions.
Several Union Ministers including Finance Minister, Ministers for Road Transport and Highways, Agriculture, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Tribal Affairs, Minister of States for Home Affairs, along with Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh attended the meeting along with senior officials of Central and State Governments.(UNI)