Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said that the fight against left wing extremists to maintain internal security is a joint responsibility of State and Central Government, but all expenses are borne by the State Governments. He urged the Centre that this expenditure should jointly be shared by both.
The Centre convened a meeting with States to review situation in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas in Delhi today. While addressing the meet, Kumar highlighted the state’s efforts so far and problems being facing in the fight. He said said that fight against LWE is a joint responsibility and the stoppage of funding in several Central schemes has adversely affected the undergoing developmental works undertaken, specially, in these schemes in affected districts.
According to him, social and economic inequality, regional imbalances in development and corruption at various levels are the main causes of disenchantment among the deprived sections of people and region. These organizations have succeeded in exploiting this disenchantment and imbalance. “ We need to pay appropriate attention to these facts while chalking out our strategy. Keeping the development of area and society at the centre of our strategy will serve the long term goals,” Kumar suggested.
Ministry of Home Affairs has identified 35 districts across the country as the most LWE affected districts. Among them, 6 districts – Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada, Jamui, Banka and Muzaffarpur are in Bihar.
Central Government had introduced some schemes for capacity enhancement of security forces and to address local disparity in the left wing extremism affected states – such as Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Integrated Action Plan (IAP) and Security Related Expenditure (SRE).
“Since last year SIS and IAP schemes have been discontinued and ironically this happened when we were hoping that the Central Government would further strengthen these schemes and enhance the resources. We would like to stress that the Centre should continue these schemes in the same manner as before,” Kumar demanded.
Bihar, for a long time,has suffered left wing extremism leading to gruesome incidents in the past. The State Government has remained alert since the beginning and has countered the problem effectively through a two-pronged strategy. On one hand, check has been put on nefarious activities of these ultras by raising Special Task Force and engaging central armed police forces in area domination and intelligence based operations. On the other hand, developmental and welfare initiatives have also been widely undertaken in the area.
The Chief Minister said that the left wing extremist activity is very much under control at present as is manifest from the statistics published by Ministry of Home Affairs. Data for the last five years illustrate that during the period from the year 2011 to 2016 violent incidents have gone down by 60 percent (down from 316 to 129), while the figures for deaths in these incidents have come down by 55 percent (down from 63 to 28).
The credit for improvement in extremism scenario definitely goes to enhanced capabilities of security forces, increase in their numerical strength, raised standards of operational tactics coupled with adoption of an integrated approach by the State Government by better execution and monitoring of development schemes.Strong action against money laundering, Prevention of economic offences, Choking flow of funds to CPI (Maoist), Establishment of Cyber Lab and Special Task Force yielded positive results.