Maoist incidents remain below 1,000-mark in 2017

Incidents of Maoists violence in the country remained below 1,000-mark in 2017 for the first time in eight years but number of security personnel getting killed in action are on the rise.

Also, latest Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report shows that the number of arms training camps and ‘jan adalats’ organised by the naxals remained almost same in 2017 compared to 2016, though it has reduced considerably when compared to 2010.

Senior security officials feel that the action against the naxals across the country is on the right path though there is a lot more to be done in Chhattisgarh, the main theatre of Maoist violence, where an increase in number of deaths were reported despite a decline in incidents.

Last year, 908 incidents involving Maoists were reported across the country, as against 1,048 in 2016 and 1,089 in 2015. In 2010, when the Maoist movement was at its peak, there were 2,213 incidents.

Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra account for 873 of the 908 incidents reported in 2017.

Maoist Incidents In India

2010

2015

2016

2017

Incidents

2,213

1,089

1,048

908

Civilians Killed

720

171

213

188

Security Personnel Killed

285

59

65

75

Encounters with Police

272

247

330

234

Attacks on Police (including landmine attacks)

230

118

111

84

Maoists killed

172

89

222

136

One of the highlights in the analysis by the MHA is the decline in civilian deaths. While 2016 saw a rise in civilian deaths, ducking the declining trend since 2010, the casualties on this side has once again slided last year to below 200 mark at 188. In 2016, it was 213 while it was 171 in 2015.

However, there is no good news on the front on security personnel front, as the number of their deaths in action is rising for the past two years. While 2010 recorded 285 killings of security personnel, it was on the decline till 2015 when 59 such cases were reported. However, it rose to 65 in 2016 and then to 75 last year.

Incidents/Deaths in States

States 2010

Incidents/Deaths

2015

Incidents/Deaths

2016

Incidents/Deaths

2017

Incidents/ Deaths

Chhattisgarh 625 / 343 466 / 101 395/107 373 / 130
Jharkhand 501 / 157 310 / 56 323 / 85 251 / 56
Bihar 307 / 97 110 / 17 129 / 28 99 / 22
Odisha 218 / 79 92 / 28 86 / 27 81 / 29
Maharashtra 94 / 45 55 / 18 73 / 23 69 / 16

The background paper prepared by the MHA had earlier acknowledged that extremists had fine-tuned their Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) “quite well” after suffering setbacks in 2016. The naxals have managed to perpetrate “some major incidents” by resorting to ambushes and IED attacks “taking the forces by surprise,” it had said.

It had then said the Maoists were trying to deflect the attention of forces away from Dandakaranya region, the naxal hotbed, by stepping up activities at the Chhattisgarh-Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra tri-junction.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Jan 20, 2018)

 

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