The Centre today praised Jharkhand for tackling extremism, saying the state has done "good work" in curbing the menace. Union Additional Secretary (Home Ministry) Jaideep Govind said that the statistics about extremist incidents in Jharkhand was "encouraging" for the entire country and added that the state government deserved a compliment for the achievement. He was speaking during a 'Unified Command' meeting held here. The meeting was informed that 67 extremist incidents had occurred in the state in 2016 as against 180 such incidents in 2012. Chief Minister Raghubar Das, who chaired the meeting, said the Naxalite problem had been reduced to 50 per cent in Jharkhand and was now limited to "some pockets". The state was committed to rooting out extremism and the results were there for all to see, Das said. He was hopeful that a "little effort" would help in eradicating the problem completely by the year-end. The chief minister said many extremists had surrendered due to the state government's attractive surrender policy. It was necessary to work in coordination at the block- level and with police stations at the borders to curb extremism, Das said. Pointing that along with security, development work would also be taken up, Das announced that development work would begin within two km of the bordering villages. He said Integrated Development Centres should be set up in place of police camps in extremist-affected areas. While an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has already been constituted in the state, a branch of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would be opened in Ranchi, a release said. The state would soon get three battalions of India Reserve Battalion, the release said. Jharkhand Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma said the state was heading towards becoming a state free from Left Wing Extremism (LWE). During the meeting, she also said that if the central forces were not immediately withdrawn from the state, then the presence of personnel would provide a sense of security in the LWE-affected areas.
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