Naxal stats don’t paint a rosy pix

Security establishment may talk about last year’s victories in the fight against naxals but the statistics for 2017 show a different picture.

The number of security personnel killed in naxal attacks rose this year while that of Maoists decreased, official statistics showed. This happened at a time the number of gunbattles between the forces and Maoists decreased.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), there is a decline in the number of naxal incidents this year till March 31 – 250 incidents in the first three months of 2017 as against 321 reported during the same period last year.

The number of encounters also came down from 103 to 61. Similarly, the number of civilians killed have come down to 48 from 70. So is the case of Maoists – 44 this year as against 70 in the first three months of 2016.

However, the killing of security personnel have gone up from 25 to 32 during the same period.

At the same time, the number of attacks on police, including those in which landmines were used rose by one – from 30 to 31.

Another low point is the number of naxals arrested (421 in 2017 and 505 in 2016) and the surrenders (327 and 397).

Intelligence inputs also suggest that the number of training camps held by naxals rose more than double from three in the first three months of 2016 to eight this year. The number of jan adalats, which the authorities call the kangaroo courts, also rose from four to six.

Chhattisgarh has emerged as the theatre of naxal violence this year, displacing Jharkhand, if one goes by the figures. This year, Chhattisgarh reported 40 deaths in 105 incidents this year till March, up from 38 and 106 respectively.

Last year same period, Jharkhand had reported 109 incidents and 33 deaths. In 2017, it had 70 incidents and just 16 deaths.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh himself had talked about the “unprecedented” loss faced by the naxals in Parliament in mid-March but he did not forget to remind the forces that Maoists would look for opportunity to hit.

He had repeatedly talked about not taking the naxals lightly before they are fully crushed citing their ability to launch “spectacular” attacks to attract attention and boost the morale of the forces.

However, officials in private admit that some of the casualties in attacks could have been avoided if the Standard Operating Procedure are followed properly.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Apr 26, 2017)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: