Number of Maoist attacks down by 26.5% in 2018, says MHA report
In the last nine years, more than one civilian was killed daily on an average in Naxal violence in 10 States with expectedly the maximum number of casualties reported from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. This, even as the Left-wing extremism (LWE) declined by 26.5 per cent in 2018 and the casualty of security personnel registered a 10.70 per cent fall.
In its annual report for 2018-19, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that as many as 3,749 people lost their lives in 10,660 incidents of violence in 10 States since 2010. In others words, every year, 417 people lost their lives in nearly 1,200 incidents of violence perpetrated by Maoists.
The MHA said the CPI(Maoist) continues to be the most potent among various Naxal outfits in the country and is responsible for more than 88 per cent of the total violent incidents and resultant deaths. The 10 Naxal-hit States are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
“Amid increasing reverses, the CPI (Maoist) has been making efforts to expand to new areas along the inter-State borders without any significant success,” the report said.
The highest number of casualties in the Naxal violence took place in Chhattisgarh, where 1,370 people were killed in 3,769 violent incidents between 2010 and 2018. While 997 people were killed in 3,358 LWE incidents in Jharkhand, 387 people lost their lives in 1,526 violent incidents in Bihar during the same period.
“Resolute implementation of the national policy and action plan by the Government has resulted in significant improvement in the LWE scenario across the country. Last five years have seen a significant decline in LWE incidents as well as the geographical spread of LWE,” the report, made available on Friday, said.
The declining trend in Naxal violence continued in 2018 as well. There has been an overall 26.7 per cent reduction in violent incidents — 1,136 incidents in 2013 to 833 incidents in 2018 — and 39.5 per cent reduction in LWE related deaths — 397 deaths in 2013 to 240 deaths in 2018.
The casualties to security forces declined by 10.7 per cent — 75 deaths in 2013 to 67 deaths in 2018 — and the number of LWE cadre eliminated went up by 65.4 per cent — 136 in 2013 to 225 in 2018.
“At the same time, the development outreach by the Government of India has seen an increasingly large number of LWE cadres shunning the path of violence and returning to the mainstream,” the report said.
Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 71,7 per cent of violent incidents and 81.7 per cent of deaths. Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 9 per cent each of the incidents and Bihar accounted for 7.1 per cent incidents in 2018.
Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana together reported less than 4 per cent incidents, indicating at the negligible presence and influence of the ultras there.
The geographical spread of LWE violence has also been shrinking considerably. In 2018, LWE violence was reported from 251 police stations in 60 districts spread across eight States as compared to 330 police stations in 76 districts spread over 10 States in 2013.
The arc of violence has been considerably restricted with just 30 districts accounting 89 per cent of the total LWE violent incidents and resultant deaths. “With the Maoists forced to remain on the back-foot in most of the States, it is time to consolidate the gains in order to end this menace once and for all,” the annual report said