'Focus on Naxalism for one year for permanent solution'

Focus on Naxalism for one year for permanent solution: Shah

Incidents of LWE violence have come down by 70% from an all-time high of 2,258 in 2009 to 665 in 2020

Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives to chair a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers of ten Naxal-hit states, at Vigyan Bhawan. Credit: PTI Photo

Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday called for decisive action against Naxals, asking chief ministers of affected states to give it top priority for one year to find a permanent solution to the problem.

Shah met chief ministers and representatives of 10 Naxal-affected states in the first physical meeting at Vigyan Bhawan here during the Covid-19 pandemic and asked them to choke funds to the left wing extremists and take action against their frontal organisations.

The meeting was attended by six Chief Ministers Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Hemant Soren (Jharkhand) and K Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana). Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala had sent their representatives.

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Citing the peace overtures in the north-eastern states, Shah said the government was ready to “heartily welcome” Naxals who were willing to give up violence and join the mainstream.

Thackeray voiced concern over the spread of Naxal activities in urban areas of the states and added that Centre’s initiatives such as demonetisation have not reined-in such elements.

The home minister pitched was joint strategy to turn off the tap of funds to Maoists and called for regular review at the chief minister’s level to ensure resolution of problems of coordination at the lower level.

He urged all the Chief Ministers to give priority to the problem of LWE for the next one year, so that a permanent solution can be found in this problem.

“It requires building pressure, increasing speed and better coordination,” Shah said.

Shah said the fight against left wing extremism (LWE) was now in a crucial stage and the government was optimistic of reducing the menace to an insignificant level at the earliest.

He said LWE has claimed more than 16,000 civilian lives in the last 40 years and there has been a consistent decline both in the violence and its geographical spread in the last decade.

Incidents of LWE violence have come down by 70% from an all-time high of 2,258 in 2009 to 665 in 2020.

The resultant deaths have also come down by 82% from a high of 1,005 in 2010 to 183 in 2020.

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