New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to chair a meeting on Monday taking stock of the Naxal violence in Maoist-hit areas, stated officials. The meeting will be attended by chief ministers or their representatives, and top police, top officials of the paramilitary forces and home ministry and civil officials of 10 Naxal-violence affected states.

Notably, this is Shah’s first meeting after he took charge of the office about three months ago. “The home minister will review the ongoing operations against the Naxals and the development activities undertaken in the Naxal affected areas,” a home ministry official said. Besides, the meeting also seeks to ensure that various development initiatives are being undertaken to check the Naxal operations in Maoist-hit areas.

The 10 Maoists-hit states are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

A home ministry statistics states that a total of 8,782 cases of Naxal violence have been reported from 2009 to 2013 as against 4,969 cases reported from 2014 to 2018. This indicates a 43.4 per cent reduction in Naxal violence. Besides, the ministry stated that 3,326 people, including security force personnel, lost their lives in 2009-13 as against 1,321 in 2014-18, a reduction of 60.4 per cent.

Last month, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had said that the steadfast government policy led to a decline in violence and shrinkage in the geographical spread of Left Wing Extremism (LWE). In 2018, the LWE-related violence was reported in only 60 districts, he noted. “Of these, only 10 districts account for two-third of LWE violence. The LWE-related incidents of violence between April 2014 and May 2019 have been 43 per cent lesser when comparing with the preceding five-year period,” said Reddy.

The National Policy and Action Plan, approved in 2015 to address LWE, envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security-related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities.

The government is also implementing a special central assistance for most LWE-affected districts with an annual outlay of Rs 1,000 crore to fill the critical gaps in public infrastructure and services.

(With agency inputs)