Bihar has been cleared of Maoist presence, claimed the Central Reserve Police Force on Wednesday, reported PTI.

At a press conference, Kuldiep Singh, the director general of the central police force, said that the Central Reserve Police Force has also reached key Maoist-controlled areas in Jharkhand.

Singh said that this year, the police force had launched Operation Octopus, Operation Double Bull, Operation Thunderstorm and Operation Chakarbandha in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. These operations led to the arrest or surrender of 592 Maoists, he said.

“Barring stray elements or extortionists, we can say that Bihar is completely free of Naxals,” Singh said. “In Jharkhand too, we reached the top of the Budha Pahar area for the first time on September 5. This was an area under the control of the Maoists so far, we have established a security camp there and road construction has also started.”

The Budha Pahar area was dominated by Maoists for the last three decades, reported The Indian Express. The central force has also conducted operations in inaccessible areas of Chakrabandha and Bhimabandh of Bihar.

“There is no place in Bihar and Jharkhand where forces cannot reach,” said Singh.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated the unit and the state security forces, calling it a “historic milestone in the internal security of the country”.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the security forces have achieved unprecedented success in the decisive battle against left wing extremism across the country,” Shah tweeted.

The home minister also said that during the months-long operations in the Maoist strongholds, 14 Naxalites were killed and their member such as Mithilesh Mahto, who had a bounty of Rs 1 crore, was also caught.

Singh said that the Union home ministry had provided Rs 4,000 crore to the Central Reserve Police Forces to purchase the latest weapons and equipment, reported The Hindu. The force has established 20 security camps in Jharkhand out of which 11 were built in the past six months.

He also added that in 2022 as compared to 2018, incidents of left-wing extremism violence has reduced by 39%, number of casualties among security forces is down by 26% and civilian deaths have decreased by 44%, according to PTI.

“Incidents of violence have come down from the highest level of 2,258 in 2009 to 509 in 2021,” Singh said. “The death rate due to violence has come down by 85%. In the year 2010, the death toll was at the highest level of 1,005 which has come down to 147 in the year 2021.”