Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday said Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is on the wane in the state and Maoist activities are now confined to only a few pockets of agency areas.
In his address at the review meeting on LWE chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi, the Chief Minister said Andhra Pradesh has been battling LWE for over four decades and 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 Chief Minister stated that to prevent further spread of LWE, continuous and collaborative efforts are needed from both the Centre and the States.
While maintaining law and order is a state subject, it is crucial for the Centre to provide unflinching financial and strategic support to LWE-affected States, particularly in areas of capacity-building, modernisation of the police forces and developmental initiatives, he added.
He stated that the Government has been 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.
While sharing intelligence with neighbouring Odisha, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh on tackling the LWE, Andhra Pradesh Government has also effectively addressed the issues of poverty, illiteracy, inadequate healthcare and unemployment which are the root cause of the LWE, he said. He told the meeting that 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 1087 km in LWE areas under the Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) scheme, he said.
Out of the 28 Ekalavya schools sanctioned by the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry for Andhra Pradesh, 24 have been established in tribal areas ensuring access to quality education for our Tribal children, he said, adding that Government has also initiated efforts to establish 944 communication towers in the LWE affected areas for enhancing the connectivity and ensure a robust communication network in tribal areas.
Chief Minister Reddy said that the government is also running 1,953 primary schools, 81 residential schools, 378 ashram schools and 179 pre and post matric hostels to help students in tribal areas besides extending the benefits of Amma Vodi and other welfare schemes through the dedicated volunteer system and village secretariats.
Family doctors, with the support of village health clinics, are also extending preventive health care to tribal people, he said, stressing the need to establish more bank branches in the tribal areas.