Kolkata: Conceding that three states of the country continued to be "badly affected" by left wing extremism, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said West Bengal was "virtually free" from any such threat.
"Although three states continue to be badly affected by LWE (left wing extremism), West Bengal has shown remarkable recovery. The three districts of the state (Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore) are now virtually free from any LWE threat," Chidambaram said.
He credited the policies followed by the central and the state governments for the decline in the Maoist threat in the state.
On the question of withdrawal of the joint security forces from the state`s Maoist affected areas, Chidambaram said it was an operational decision to be taken by the heads of the forces.
"I have said it earlier and I reiterate that withdrawal of the forces is an operational decision and not a policy or political decision. That is what I said when the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist, which led the Left Front government that was voted out in May 2011) was in power.
The decision in that case has to be taken by the director general of the police of the state and senior officers of the paramilitary forces," he said.