Saturday evening’s deadly attack on the Chhattisgarh Congress leadership serves as a wake up call for the security establishment in Delhi that had started patting its back for a decline in Maoist violence.
The attack comes months after Home Secretary RK Singh told a parliamentary standing committee how the naxal situation had been turned around over the last few years.
“There has been an absolute turnaround in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and now we are chasing the naxal groups. In Odisha we are chasing the naxal groups. There is a u-turn in Gadchiroli where we are chasing the naxals as well,” Singh told the panel of MPs.
The panel didn’t take the government’s version at its face value and was dismissive of the home secretary’s claims. “The committee feels that there is no marked visibility of the improvement,” it recorded in its report submitted to Parliament.
That remark, however, did not deter the UPA government from taking credit for declining violence in Naxal-affected areas during 2004-2013 in the handbook of the government’s achievements released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
In the last four years, the lives lost in naxal violence have reduced by more than half, the handbook said, crediting the development to the government’s holistic approach in dealing with the problem.