How did Centre-States tackle Naxalism in five years?
New Delhi, Feb 20: Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Naxalism is a threat that India has faced since decades.
When Narendra Modi government assumed power in May 2014 then curbing Naxalism was one of the major challenges before it. For, providing better internal security to the country was one of the main promises of Narendra Modi as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate during Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Though the primary responsibility of meeting the challenge of LWE lies with the state governments, the Central Government monitors the situation closely, supplements and coordinates the efforts of the State Governments.
The Home Ministry data shows that while the LWE incidents in the country started to downfall from 2014 to 2018, the number of killed Naxalites continued to grow every year during the last five years. Also, there was a decline in the casualty rate of civilians and security personnel.
The Naxalites carried out 1091 attacks in 2014 and killed 222 civilians and 88 security personnel. The security forces in return managed to eliminate 63 Naxalites.
In 2015, the Left Wing Extremists launched 1089 attacks and killed 171 civilians and 59 security jawans. On the other hand, security forces gunned down 89 Naxalites.
The total number of Naxal attacks in 2016 was 1048 in which 213 civilians and 65 security jawans lost their lives. However, 2016 too proved costly for Left Wing Extremism as the security forces neutralised 222 Naxalites.
In 2017, the number of Naxal attacks came below thousand and stood at 908 in which 136 Naxalites, 188 civilians, and 75 security jawans were killed.
The year 2018 was very successful for the security forces as they eliminated the highest number of Naxalites during the last five years.
The security forces killed 225 Naxalites in 2018. On the other hand, Naxalites carried out 833 attacks and killed 173 civilians and 67 security forces.
The Home Ministry has not released the data of 2019, but the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) has.
According to SATP, 12 civilians and nine Naxalites have been killed till February 11, 2019.
Since 2014, the security forces have arrested 4256 Naxals. Out of which, 937 were arrested in 2014, 766 in 2015, 843 in 2016, 870 in 2017, 786 in 2018 and 54 till to February 11, 2019.
In total, 6613 Naxalites have also surrendered before the security forces during the last five years.
The LWE continues to affect 90 districts of 11 states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
However, Chhattisgarh continues to be the epicenter of LWE where the most number of Naxal attacks took place in the last five years.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on April 16, 2018, announced that at least 30 districts were categorised as 'worst Maoist-affected', across seven states. Eight of these districts are in Chhattisgarh: Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon, and Sukma.
The CPI (Maoist) continues to be the most potent among the various LWE outfits in the country and accounted for more than 80% of total LWE incidents and resultant deaths. It has been included in the Schedule of Terrorist Organisations, along with all its formations and front organisations under the existing Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 since 22nd June 2009.