This paper poses two questions: is it a fact that there is more violence in Naxalite (i.e. Maoist) affected districts compared to districts which are free of Naxalite activity? can the fact that Naxalite activity exists in some districts of India, but not in others, be explained by differences between districts in their economic and social conditions? Using a number of sources, this study identifies districts in India in which there was significant Naxalite activity. Correlating these findings with district level economic, social, and crime indicators, the econometric results show that, after controlling for other variables, Naxalite activity in a district had, if anything, a dampening effect on its level of violent crime and crimes against women. Furthermore, even after controlling for other variables, the probability of a district being Naxalite affected rose with an increase in its poverty rate and fell with a rise in its literacy rate. So, one prong in an anti-Naxalite strategy would be to address the twin issues of poverty and illiteracy in India. As the simulations reported in the paper show, this might go a considerable way in ridding districts of Naxalite presence.
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- violent crime
- Naxalite movement