New Delhi: The Naxal menace is spreading across the country. In March, this year Naxals gunned down Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Lok Sabha member Sunil Mahto from Jamshedpur along with his two bodyguards and a JMM worker, when he was on a visiting Baguria village as the chief guest of an exhibition football match on Holi.
Now documents available exclusively with CNN-IBN show that the intelligence agencies have warned that Naxals have many more Members of Parliament and Members of Legislatives Assemblies of different states on their hit-list.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy and West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are some of the prominent names on the list.
The documents also show that the UPA government has admitted that it has failed to contain the terror of the Naxals.
But the flip side to the intelligence warnings is official figures which point to the fact that Naxal menace is on the decline.
Union Home Ministry's figures say "Naxal violence has shown a decrease of 6.15 per cent in 2006 over 2005 and also in the first half of 2007".
However, an internal note circulated within the government shows that the UPA government has admitted that despite police action Naxal activities are on the rise.
On the other hand the stain of Red terror is spreading on the ground - a truth that the government refuses to acknowledge publicly.
A secret document circulated in last week's high-level meeting between the Union Government, and police chiefs of 16 Naxal-affected states in the country clearly admit that "despite concerted police action, several development initiatives, planned public perception management and people's resistance, the Naxal activities are increasing."
But Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta says, "These statistics does not really mean anything".
And despite several such meetings over the past three years, no coordinated approach has yet been taken to tackle the spread of Naxal violence.
In fact the document clearly shows that the government is concerned that "Naxalites continue to carry out well-planned and coordinated attacks along military lines".
It's clear that the government is concealing a very grim reality, a reality that might soon force the government take a re-look of the policies to tackle the Naxalites.