Guwahati: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked the Centre to declare upper Assam districts of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh as Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas.
Ramesh told media here that as per intelligence, there is evidence about the presence of Maoist activities in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh and he has suggested the Prime Minister after his visit to declare the two as LWE affected districts.
"The Prime Minister has reacted positively. And we are now expecting the Planning Commission to make a formal announcement very soon. Special Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGYS) norms would be extended to Tinsukia and Dibrugarh," Ramesh said.
He said the Maoists and the militant-outfit ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) had capitalised on the poor infrastructure in these regions to set up their sanctuaries, particularly in Tinsukia.
"I think the remoteness of Tinsukia, particularly Sadia block, and the poor infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges have allowed both Maoists and the ULFA cadres to set up sanctuaries," added Ramesh.
Maoists have already increased their presence significantly in tribal and rural regions of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.
The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of millions of landless people and marginal farmers. However, the government has termed them as India`s main internal security threat.