Despite the Central government’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy against terrorism, the decade-long menace affected 161 police districts across the country, especially Maoist-hit states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, terror-hit Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and other Northeastern states in 2019.
The inputs were recently submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) by its Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) organisation in its Data on Police Organisations-2019.
However, there was a slight fall in the number of terrorism or extremism affected districts in the country in 2019 compared to 174 in 2018, the MHA’s focus is to reduce the number at its maximum level in 2021.
Following the annual report, Ministry’s concerned wings under the guidance of Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and in overall supervision of Home Minister Amit Shah have contacted states concerned and Director Generals of all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to bring down the number of these terrorist-affected districts to a minimum.
In the beginning of December 2020, Shah had emphasised that there should be a ‘zero tolerance’ against terrorism and directed that security agencies have a coordinated approach in the national security scenario and achieve the target of making India a developed and safe nation.
The Minister on Saturday also stressed that “national security is paramount and the Central government is making sincere efforts to give equal attention to all aspects related to the security”.
As per the BPR&D’s latest report, “a total of 161 police districts are affected by terrorism or extremism”.
Jharkhand was on the top where 22 districts were affected by terrorist or extremist problem in 2019 followed by Bihar (17); Assam and Manipur (with 16 each); Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir (with 15 each); Chhattisgarh (14); Nagaland (11); Telangana (8); Andhra Pradesh (6); five each in Kerala and West Bengal; three each in Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh; and Madhya Pradesh (2).
“The number of police districts affected by the terrorist or extremist problem, during the last ten years (2010-2019) shows a mixed trend. A slight decrease was noticed from 2010 to 2014 and, thereafter, a slight increase from 2015-17 and again a decrease in 2019 can be seen”.
A graph mentioned in the report shows that the number of police districts affected in 2011 was 188, which went down in 2012 affecting only 176 districts, then another round of fall in 2013 affecting 173 districts, and 170 in 2014.
With a slight jump of 172 districts in 2015, the number went up to 181 in 2016 and maintained its earlier top position with 188 terrorism affected districts in 2017 — the third year of the reign of the Narendra Modi-led government.