The left-wing terror menace may not be completely eradicated, but giant strides have been made in curbing the problem. The left-wing terrorists were active in 77 districts, but their presence has dropped to 30 now.
According to Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, the spread of the left wing extremists had shrunk in the past four years due to a multi-pronged strategy. This involved security and development related 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.
Gauba said significant features of the anti-Naxal 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 LWE-affected districts.
Last year the government had told the Parliament that around 12,000 people had lost their lives in Naxal related violence in the past two decades. Out of this 2,720 were security personnel, the government had also said.
Those killed include 9,300 innocent civilians who were either killed by the Naxals, labelling them as 'police informers', or were victims in a crossfire, data prepared by the Home Ministry states. However, the ministry said that the violence had fallen by 25 per cent.
There has been a decline of 25 per cent in LWE-related violence and casualties to security forces dropped by as much as 42 per cent during May 2014-April 2017 as compared to May 2011-April 2014.
In an RTI reply, the Government said violence involving Maoists declined from 1,048 in 2016 to 813 till November 2017.