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Incidents of Maoist violence reduce in 2017, govt. data show

Officials say the decline could be due to attrition of cadres or Maoists' strategy to lie low

December 31, 2017 11:17 pm | Updated January 01, 2018 11:53 am IST - New Delhi

 The violent incidents in the 10 LWE-affected States have always been above the 1,000 mark

The violent incidents in the 10 LWE-affected States have always been above the 1,000 mark

For the first time in more than a decade, in 2017 the incidents in left-wing extremism (LWE) affected States remained below the 1,000 mark.

A senior official of the Union Home Ministry attributed the decline to “attrition of various level cadres of Maoists” and the other to the possibility of Maoists “deliberately lying low.”

According to Home Ministry data, 851 incidents were reported till December 15 in 2017, compared to 1016 incidents during the corresponding period last year. The total number of incidents in 2016 was 1048.

The violent incidents in the 10 LWE-affected States have always been above the 1,000 mark, with 2,258 the maximum number of incidents reported in 2009. The most incidents were reported from Chhattisgarh (353) and Jharkhand (240).

‘Not attracting recruits’

K. Vijay Kumar, Senior Security Adviser, MHA said, “First of all, youths are no more enamoured to join the Maoists which has led to the attrition in cadres at all levels. They are not getting even 50% of the recruits they got earlier. The other reason could be strategic: to lie low.”

Mr. Kumar said several instances of top Maoist leadership siphoning off money and running extortion rackets has also attributed to their decline.

“Nothing happened in a year’s time. In 2004 when all Maoist organisations merged, for two years they planned many attacks. By 2010, maximum attrition took place and from there on there has been a steady decline,” said Mr. Kumar.

The Border Security Force (BSF) deployed for anti-Maoist operations apart from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) established base at four new locations in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The BSF established a camp at Kartanpalli in Malkangiri in Odisha and at Charre-Marre, Kanhargaon and Jaal Top in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.

‘Leaders ailing’

A senior Home Ministry official said the top Maoist leadership was ageing and many suffered from ailments.

The recruitments were also at an all-time low as security forces had penetrated many territories in the past decade. The earlier reports of Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi, the elusive head of the banned CPI (Maoist) making way for his second-in-command and chief of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Nambala Keshav Rao alias Basavraj were not found to be correct.

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