Story in Numbers: Constant decline in left-wing extremism in India

On September 28, 2021, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a tweet claimed the government led by Narendra Modi had dramatically brought down Left-wing extremism (LWE) violence through development. BJP’s Twitter post made the comparison between 2020 and 2009. The graphic in BJP’s tweet read, “India gets safer under Modi government.”

However, this claim is misleading. LWE cases saw a sudden rise in 2009 — 2,258 from 1,591 in 2008. And since then, cases have been steadily decreasing. This means that although LWE incidents have reduced by 70% from 2,258 in 2009 to 665 in 2020, the biggest chunk of this decline was in the regime of the United Progressive Alliance.

Between 2009 and 2014, the number of LWE cases came down by 51.6%, showed the 2019-20 Annual Report of the Ministry of Home Affairs. After came to power in 2014, the number of LWE incidents contracted by 39.04% till 2020, says a response given by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai in the Lok Sabha on July 27, 2021.

In fact, during the regime, LWE incidents in West Bengal saw a major decline — from 350 incidents and 258 deaths in 2010 to one incident and no death in 2013.

Since then, no incident or death had been reported in the state till last year. These incidents increased by around 87% between 2001 and 2009, after which the number has been steadily decreasing. The year 2009 saw 2,258 incidents making it the year with the most such attacks not only between 2001 and 2010 but also in the last two decades.

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