The left wing extremism (LWE) is on the wane in Andhra Pradesh and Maoist activities are contained to only a few pockets of agency areas, according to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Speaking at the review meeting on LWE chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Friday, the Chief Minister said Andhra Pradesh was battling LWE for over four decades, but the multi-pronged approach, comprising security measures, development initiatives, and safeguarding the rights and entitlements of local communities under the National Policy and Action Plan has yielded ‘positive’ results.
The State government was able to restrict the Maoist activities to a few pockets in Alluri Sitharama Raju and Parvathipuram Manyam districts from their original strength in five districts while the LWE cadre strength has also come down to 50 in 2023 from 150 in 2019.
Addressing root cause
While sharing intelligence with neighbouring Odisha, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh on tackling the LWE, the Andhra Pradesh government also addressed the issues of poverty, illiteracy, inadequate healthcare and unemployment which were the root cause of the LWE, Reddy said. Tribals were counselled to cultivate alternate commercial crops. These measures were supplemented with strong efforts like distribution of RoFR pattas for bestowing ownership of 3.23 lakh acres of forest lands to 1.54 lakh eligible tribal farmers and completing laying of roads to an extent of 1,087 km in LWE areas under the Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) scheme.
Out of the 28 Ekalavya schools sanctioned by the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry for AP, 24 have been established in tribal areas ensuring access to quality education for tribal children, he said. The State government also initiated efforts to establish 944 communication towers in the LWE affected areas for enhancing the connectivity and ensuring a robust communication network in tribal areas, according to a release.