Union Home Minister Amit Shah Sunday reviewed the security situation and the implementation of development projects in Naxal-affected areas with six chief ministers and top officials of four states. The chief ministers who attended the meeting were: Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), K Chandrashekar Rao (Telangana), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra) and Hemant Soren (Jharkhand), official sources said.
The chief ministers of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala were also invited for the meeting. However, these four states were represented by either a state minister or top officials.
The home minister reviewed with the chief ministers and officials the security situation and ongoing operations against Maoists and development projects being carried out in Naxal-hit areas, the sources said.
Shah took stock of the requirements of the states, the strength of forces deployed to tackle the extremists, development works like the construction of roads, bridges, school, and health centres being carried out in Naxal-hit areas.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the Maoist problem has been reduced to only three districts in his state and the meeting discussed what is required to be done to reduce it further.
Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw, Giriraj Singh, Arjun Munda and Nityanada Rai also attended the meeting.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director of Intelligence Bureau Arvinda Kumar, senior civil and police officers of Central and state governments also attended it.
According to the Union Home Ministry data, Maoist violence has reduced considerably in the country and the menace is prevalent now in just about 45 districts.
However, a total of 90 districts in the country are considered Maoist-affected and are covered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme of the ministry.
The Naxal problem, also called Left Wing Extremism (LWE), were reported in 61 districts in 2019 and in only about 45 districts in 2020.
About 380 security personnel, 1,000 civilians and 900 Naxals were killed in different violence in LWE affected areas since 2015 till 2020.
A total of about 4,200 Naxals have also surrendered during the same period, the data said.
(With PTI inputs)
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