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Left-wing extremism at a low, but deaths of security officials still in red zone

The armed left-wing movement, which had spread in 10 Indian states, seems to be on a back foot on all accounts.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2017 07:44 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Left-wing extremism,Maoist guerrillas,Maoists
Maoist rebels train in a forest area at Dumariya block in Gaya district of Bihar.(AP file photo)

Even as violence in regions affected by left-wing warfare this year reached an all-time low since 2010, number of security forces killed battling Maoist guerrillas seems to have increased by nearly 20%.

According to the latest data of ministry of home affairs (MHA), 70 security personnel lost their lives in states hit by left-wing violence till October 15 this year as compared to 59 killed last year until October.

The total number of security forces killed in 2016 was 65, preceded by 59 in 2015, 88 in 2014, 115 in 2013, 114 in 2012, 142 in 2011 and 285 in 2010.

While killings of security personnel is definitely a case of worry for the Central government, what is more alarming is the decrease in causalities from the Maoist side.

This year till October 15, a total of 97 Maoist cadres will killed as compared to 157 last year. Total number of LWE cadres killed in 2016 stood at 222, the highest since 2010 in which 33 cadres were killed followed by 99 in 2011, 74 in 2012, 100 in 2013 , 63 in 2014 and 89 in 2015.

In other words, one personnel was killed on every fourth day this year while as many as one Maoist cadre on every third day.

According to the latest data, the armed left wing movement, which had spread in 10 Indian states, seems to be on a back foot on all accounts. The total number of incidents stands at an all-time low of 701 as compared to 887 in October last year.

While a massive 2,204 violent incidents were reported from left wing affected areas in 2010 last year the number was 1,048. Similarly number of civilians killed this year was 150 as compared to 177 in October 2016. Total number of civilians had increased last year from 171 in 2015 to 213 in 2016.

The home ministry last week said, “The declining trend of LWE violence continues across the country which has seen an overall reduction of 21% in violence incidents over corresponding period of last year. The LWE continue to remain under pressure with ever shrinking influence, both in terms of geographical spread and public support”

Senior paramilitary officials speaking to HT also maintained that top Maoist leadership is being targeted on the instruction of MHA. However, intelligence inputs also indicate a regrouping of the armed outfits especially at the Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh tri-junction.

On October 25, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police killed three Maoists in Manpur subdivision in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon.

An intelligence document accessed by HT states that the cadres have been directed by their “high command” to mobilise people for support by raising issues such as exploitation of Tendu leave collectors and farmers. Women cadres, who make up for nearly 30% of senior Maoist leadership in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, have been especially asked to remain active.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 07:44 IST