Maoists gaining upper hand over security forces

Maoists gaining upper hand over security forces

Attacks on security personnel by Maoists have increased this year by more than 50 per cent while the number of Maoists killed has dwindled by one-third.

Maoists targeted men in uniform 88 times in the first five months of this year while the figure for the corresponding period last year was 51.

While attacks on them have increased, police have failed to neutralise more number of Maoists. This year, security personnel managed to kill 33 ultras during attacks and encounters while the figure was 47 last year.

A Home Ministry analysis also showed that incidents, including attacks on police as well as civilians and economic targets, involving the ultra Lefts have shown a marginal increase this year though the number of civilian victims has shown a decline.

While there were 509 incidents this year as against 498 in the first five months of 2013, number of civilian deaths, including those of security personnel, were at 158 as against 181. Of the 158, 57 are security personnel, one up from last year’s figure.

A senior security official said the numbers were not alarming and they were reviewing the situation at regular intervals and plugging loopholes if any.

The Narendra Modi-led government is also planning to move ahead by undertaking development initiatives by relaxing stringent norms in tribal and forest regions that it believes hamper growth in Maoist-affected region. Officials believe development initiatives coupled with strong security actions would break the Maoist strongholds.

According to the Home Ministry report, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh topped the list with the highest number of Maoist incidents. Jharkhand recorded a decrease in number of incidents and civilian deaths – 160 and 38 respectively.

Chhattisgarh had 153 incidents and 66 deaths, both on the rise compared to last year while Bihar came third with 83 incidents (down from 90) and 17 killings (down from 21).

In 2009, there were 2,258 violent incidents involving Maoists in which 908 people were killed while it shrunk to 1,136 incidents and 397 victims last year.

The government had flagged concern in Parliament this February about Maoists’ foreign links. The Home Ministry had then said the Maoists have “close links” with similar Maoist organisations in Philippines and Turkey and its war against India has evoked support from fringe organisations located in Germany, France, Holland, Turkey and Italy.

However, then Minister of State for Home R P N Singh informed Parliament that there is no specific intelligence input available to indicate that the Maoists are getting financial assistance from external agencies or other countries.

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