Raghubar Das says violence by naxals decreasing swiftly in Jharkhand
Speaking at the top level review meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, Das stated that in 2001-2014, the average number of naxal-related incidents registered every year in the state was about 400. He said since his government took over, the average number of such incidents registered has gone down "tremendously" to only 200 a year in 2015-2016, a government release said here. He said during 2001-2014, the number of policemen and civilians killed per year was about 35 and 115 respectively, while the same in the last two years has reduced to 5 and 50 respectively.
"Earlier, the naxals looted 39 weapons every year on an average, while in 2015-2016, no such incident took place in Jharkhand," the release said. The chief minister said it was due to the "positive policies" of his government like developmental works taken up in far flung areas and co-ordinated actions of the state and Central forces that the "number of violent incidents by naxals has reduced to a great extent in Jharkhand." He said Saranda and Saryu action plans and schemes for 11 other naxal-affected areas have been prepared for the overall development of naxal-affected areas, adding that these interventions were in different stages of execution.
Under these plans, special focus was put on education, health, job creation and other developmental works and it has yielded positive results, he said. Das further added that his government had prepared a new scheme for the surrender and rehabilitation of the left wing extremists, which has resulted in about 81 of them surrendering in the last two years, compared to only 70 in the 2001-2014 period, the release said. He claimed that because of the "attractive" surrender policy of his government, several top extremists have joined the mainstream.
The increase in reward money to upto Rs 1 crore to catch the rebels also helped, he said. The BJP-led state government had increased the number of naxals to be caught under the reward scheme from 100 to 200 extremists, which helped the security forces to nab them.
Das said the success of operations against naxals in Jharkhand was due to the fact that state and Central forces conducted operations in tandem with each other, thus helping security forces to successfully eliminate several top extremists.
Giving further details, he said 458 naxalites were arrested in 2015 and 64 in 2016, and that a large number of weapons and explosives, including those looted from the security forces, were seized from their possession.
In the previous 14 years (2001-14), the security forces seized Rs 28 lakh of extortion money from the naxals on an average, but in the last about two years, they seized about Rs 4.25 crore worth extortion money.
The chief minister also apprised the meeting that to strengthen the police network, the state government has created 49 new police stations and upgraded 56 sub-police stations in the last two years. Das said thanks to modern technology and strengthening of the forces, districts like Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Ranchi (rural), Jamshedpur, and northern areas of Latehar and Garhwa have been made almost naxal-free.
The chief minister stressed on better coordination among the neighbouring states to deal with the naxal problem because the "rebels often escape to these territories after carrying out attacks in a particular state". He suggested that naxal-affected states share information with each other regarding the naxal violence, and also supported joint operations in the border areas of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhatisgarh and Odisha.
Jharkhand, Das said, has decided to develop the bordering villages falling within a radius of 2 kms from the borders of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhatisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. "Joint anti-naxal operations in the border areas with these states will finish off the naxal hideouts," he stated. Appreciating the review meeting on the naxal issue, Das called it "very timely" and hoped it will open up a new chapter for ending the menace of left wing extremism in the country. He also complimented the Centre for its help and support to Jharkhand in dealing with the menace, the release added.