The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday, praised and congratulated the police, intelligence outfits and paramilitaries for achieving major successes against left wing extremists, including Naxals.
However, he cautioned that every effort must be made to root out the menace of Naxalism, and build on the successes already achieved.
Addressing state directors general of police and inspectors general of police at Vigyan Bhawan here, Dr. Singh said:”It is important that we don’t let up on our efforts to root out the menace of Naxalism and continue to build on our successes.” “We also need to improve the quality of governance and the pace of development in the Naxal-affected areas,” he added.
“Our intelligence, police and paramilitary forces have done commendable work during the polls in the Naxal-affected areas of Chhatisgarh,” the Prime Minister Sai. “It was the intelligence gathered by the IB (Intelligence Bureau) that led to the arrest of some suspects of several terror attacks. I congratulate the IB,” he added. “Happy that the IB has achieved some major successes in this very special year,” Dr. Singh.
The three-day annual conference of Directors General of Police/ Inspectors General of Police of States, Union Territories and Heads of the Central Police Organisations (CPOs) began on November 21. It was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Singh released a commemorative postage stamp and presented the President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service to awardees. The term 'Naxal' derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin.
The Naxals are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology.
Their origin can be traced to the split in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In later years, it spread into less developed areas of rural southern and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist). For the past ten years, it has grown mostly from displaced tribals and natives who are fighting against exploitation from major Indian corporations and local officials whom they believe to be corrupt.
In 2006, the Research and Analysis Wing estimated that 20,000 armed cadre Naxalites were operating in addition to 50,000 regular cadres, and their growing influence prompted Prime Minister Singh to declare them to be the most serious internal threat to India's national security.
In February 2009, the central government announced a new nationwide initiative, to be called the "Integrated Action Plan" (IAP) for broad, co-ordinated operations aimed at dealing with the Naxalite problem in all affected states –namely -- Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
This plan included funding for grass-roots economic development projects in Naxalite affected areas, as well as increased special police funding for better containment and reduction of Naxalite influence in these areas. In August 2010, after the first full year of implementation of the national IAP program, Karnataka was removed from the list of Naxal-affected states.
In July 2011, the number of Naxal affected areas was reduced to 83 districts across nine states. In December 2011, the government reported that the number of Naxal-related deaths and injuries nationwide had gone down by nearly 50% from 2010 level.
However, on May 25 this year, Naxalites attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in the Darbha Valley of Sukma District of Chhattisgarh. The attack resulted in 27 deaths, including that of former state minister Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel. Former union cabinet minister Vidya Charan Shukla succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Gurgaon on June 11.
Sukma district is a part of the "Red Corridor", the belt affected by the Naxalite–Maoist insurgency.
This region has been under continuous attack by the Maoists, who have been targeting police personnel and political leaders.