‘Bengal to be free of Naxalism soon’

Once termed as the Naxal bastion, West Bengal is progressing fast towards becoming free from the clutches of the CPI(Maoist), according to the biggest paramilitary force engaged in anti-Naxal operations across the country.

CRPF DG K. Vijay Kumar, who retires end of this month, on Friday said that “political intervention” by Trinamul Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has partly been responsible for the “turnaround” in Maoist violence in the state besides the successes achieved in the anti-Naxal operations.

He said only about 5 per cent Maoist presence is left in the worst-hit Midnapore district. He said Bihar stands second to West Bengal, followed by Jharkhand even as parts of Maharashtra, Orissa and Chhattisgarh continue to remain as the trouble spots for the security forces engaged in anti-Naxal operations.

Mr Kumar said that the hearts and minds of the people in the Naxal-hit states have to be won by the government and security forces. “We have had considerable success in West Bengal. Nine out of 10 things are getting done (in the state) and the political vacuum is being filled,” Mr Kumar told reporters at a press conference two days ahead of his retirement.

It was being speculated that Mr Kumar may get an extension of his term in the CRPF.

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