More than 350 persons including security personnel were killed in Maoist attacks or Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) during the last 12 years.
According to official data, 1246 LWE attacks were reported in Odisha during the 12 years, in which 357 people (civilians and security personnel) were killed.
So, on an average, each year 103 LWE incidents occurred in Odisha and 29 persons were killed by the Maoists between 2020 and 2021.
However, the figures suggest that the LWE activities are on a declining trend in the state. In Odisha, the number of LWE incidents has drastically come down to 32 in 2021 from 218 reported in 2010. Similarly, the resultant deaths (civilians and security forces) have been reduced from 79 in 2010 to 3 last year.
The geographical spread of the LWE activities has also come down in the state. Now, only 10 districts have been covered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Earlier, 19 districts were covered under the scheme, sources said
The SRE is a non-plan scheme and has been under implementation since April 1, 1996. The objective of the scheme is to supplement the efforts of the states to deal with the LWE problem effectively.
The 10 SRE covered districts are Bargarh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada and Sundergarh. Out of these 10 districts only three districts, Kandhamal, Malkangiri and Kalahandi, have been categorized as most affected LWE districts while Koraput has been categorized as a district of concern by the MHA.
Informing about the economic and welfare activities undertaken by the government, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai recently told the Lok Sabha that more than 974 km of roads have been constructed in the LWE affected areas of Odisha under two schemes.
For improving telecommunications, 256 mobile towers have been installed while work orders have been issued for another 483 towers in the state.
A total of Rs 234.33 crore has been released to the most LWE affected districts of Odisha under the Special Central Assistance scheme to fill critical gaps in public infrastructure and services. Under this scheme, various types of projects have been undertaken like road repair, improvement in health infrastructure, education related projects, rural infrastructure projects etc, he informed.
For educational empowerment, five Industrial Training Institutes and 10 skill development centres have been approved under the Skill Development Scheme in Maoist affected areas of Odisha. The Centre has also sanctioned 64 Eklavya Model Residential Schools for Odisha, of which 18 are functional.
For financial inclusion, 49 bank branches, 95 ATMs and 1144 banking correspondents have been established in the LWE affected districts and 247 post offices have been opened in such areas in two phases in the last seven years.