Nine in every ten Maoist incidents happen in 35 districts

Nine in every ten Maoist incidents happen in 35 districts of the country where naxals have an upper hand.

The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday showed that 804 of the 908 incidents reported in 2017 took place in these districts.

Sukma, which is in Chhattisgarh, reported the highest number of incidents at 102 among the 35 districts declared the most naxal affected. On March 13, a mine-protected vehicle had come under naxal ambush killing at least nine CRPF personnel in Sukma.

However, two districts — Muzaffarpur in Bihar and Khammam in Telangana — reported not a single incident last year.

Gadchiroli in Maharashtra had the second highest incident at 68 followed by Chattisgarh’s Bijapur (60), Jharkhand’s Latehar (59) and Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur (58).

According to the written reply in Lok Sabha, the 35 most affected districts accounted for 88.5% of naxal related violent incidents. Just 20 districts accounted for 80% of the violence. Naxal violence were reported from only 58 districts across the country in 2017.

“There is no plan to involve the Army in the fight against Left Wing Extremism except for the ongoing training assistance. Helicopters made available for LWE affected States are used only for logistic purposes,” Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said.

While the naxal violence is on the wane, the MHA recently told Committee on Estimates that the naxals are now “targeting new states and are trying to carve out the base at the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu”.

In a document prepared by the MHA last year, it had said that 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 Mar 21, 2018)

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