GUWAHATI, Dec 3 � Though the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has called for declaration of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia as Left Wing extremism affected districts, the districts would have to fulfill certain criteria fixed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to get the special Central funds under the scheme to deal with growth of Maoist rebels.
Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that there are a number of parameters to declare any district as Left Wing extremism affected district. The first step in this regard is that the concerned State Government would have to send a detailed proposal to the Centre with reports of the activities of the Maoist rebel groups. Then the Centre would assess the situation before taking any decision on declaring any district as Left Wing extremism affected district.
Sources revealed that the first parameter is the level of violence by Maoist rebel groups. Sources pointed out that Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts would not qualify to get special funds under this parameter as there is not much record of involvement of Maoist rebel groups in acts of violence in those two districts. However, there are other parameters for declaring districts as Left Wing extremism affected and those include activities of the
Maoist rebel groups including extortion, meetings, training camps, shelter etc.
MHA sources pointed out that so far there is no record of Maoist activities in Dibrugarh district and there were some reports from Sadiya area of Tinsukia district, where the rebels have some bases. The police and security forces including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) launched a major crackdown against the Maoist rebels in Assam in the months of June and July, which resulted in the arrests of a number of key leaders of the rebels. However, since then, no major activity of the Maoists has come to light apart from recovery of a few posters of the rebels.
Sources, however, admitted that the threat from the Maoist rebels cannot be overlooked as Aditya Bora, the main man of the rebels in Assam, is still at large. Moreover, the crackdown in June and July succeeded after more than a year of efforts by the security agencies as there was very little input on the activities of the Maoists, who are �very secretive� about their activities.
Meanwhile, MHA sources said that as many as 83 districts of 15 states of the country have been declared as Left Wing extremism affected districts. The highest number of affected districts is in Chattisgarh, followed by Bihar and Jharkhand. These districts get a special infrastructure development fund of Rs 30 crore a year and so far, no district of the North East states is included in the list of Left Wing extremism affected district.