As chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to soon visit Jangalmahal areas in the state, there are intelligence alerts on Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities.
The Union home ministry data also indicates zero arrests or deaths of Left-wing extremists in Bengal from 2019-2021 and claimed that neither were any civilians killed in the last five years by Maoists in West Bengal.
The reports of Maoist posters cropping up in Jangalmahal every now and then have put the state government in a spot of bother. Districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia were once considered a hotbed for Maoist activities. Miss Banerjee is scheduled to soon visit these districts. However, data on LWE activities till 2021, as per the Union home ministry, rules out any extremist activities in Bengal. This has cast doubt over the legitimacy of the new alleged Maoist threats in Bengal.
The data presented in the Parliament, last month, by minister of state (MoS), Union home ministry Nityanand Rai indicated that it was last in 2018 when seven LWEs were arrested in Bengal. From 2019 to 2021, the figure is zero. West Bengal did not even feature in the data showing the number of LWEs killed from 2017 to 2019. The states that found a place are Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
Further, West Bengal also does not find a place in the data on civilians killed by LWEs from 2017 to 2021. The ministry statement also claimed that there has been an unprecedented improvement in the LWE situation in the country over the past few years. This has been possible due to the implementation of the national policy and action plan to combat LWE which was launched by the Centre in 2015.
The statement by the MoS claimed that incidents of LWE violence in the country have reduced by 77% from an all-time high of 2,258 in 2009 to 509 in 2021. Similarly, resultant deaths (civilians + security forces) have reduced by 85% from an all-time high of 1005 in 2010 to 147 in 2021. The number of districts reporting LWE violence has also reduced by 48 per cent from 96 in 2010 to 46 in 2021.