Major spurt in Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh in 2015

RAIPUR: With 362 Maoist related incidents of violence in Chhattisgarh in the first eight months of 2015, a whopping increase of 34% over the corresponding period in 2014, the year so far has been perhaps the most violent for the state since 2010.

While there has been a marginal decrease in the total number of Maoists related incidents of violence in the 10 Left Wing Extremism affected states in these eight months, Chhattisgarh has witnessed an unprecedented spurt during the period by even surpassing the total number of 328 cases that occurred during the entire 2014. However, mercifully the numbers for people killed in these incidents in the state are marginally lesser than the previous year, as they were down from 73 in 2014 to 62 till July 15, 2015.

According to latest figures, the number of Maoist related violent incidents in Chhattisgarh have shot up from 270 in 2014 (till August) to 362 in the corresponding period this year, averaging almost 45 odd incidents every month. The figures also reveal that while 264 incidents of Maoist related violence occurred in the state till July 15 this year, another 98 happened in a span on just 45 days till August 31.

According to the data available with the state police, while the number of fatalities of security and government personnel witnessed a decline during this period, down from 50 in 2014 to 39, there has been an increase of 29% in civilian casualties, which went up from 24 to 31.

Interestingly, while Jharkhand has been topping the list of Maoist related violence incidents among the LWE affected states since 2012, Chhattisgarh has surpassed the tally in the first six months of this year. In Jharkhand incidents of Maoist related violence fell from 217 in 2014 (till July 15) to 190 this year. The numbers of fatalities in such incidents have also declined from 54 to 35 in the corresponding period.

Talking to TOI, additional director deneral of police (anti-naxal operations), RK Vij, attributed the spurt in such incidents in the state to panchayat polls held this year. He said there were attempts to disrupt polling at several places in Bastar by looting ballot boxes and firing at polling staff and security personnel.

Incidentally, the last Panchayat elections in the state were held in 2010 and even then the incidents of Maoist violence had witnessed spurt, 625 during entire year. The total numbers of fatalities during 2010 were much higher at 343.

Vij said the decline in the numbers of death in such violent cases this year is due to the fact that no major ambushes took place. "Killings have been confined to incidents of abduction and then execution, rather than random mass killings," he said, adding that majority of the 39 fatalities of security personnel happened during special operations.

Interestingly, these figures also reveal that the number of Maoists killed and surrendered till August 2014 and 2015, are the same at 22 and 115 respectively. However, the number of Maoists arrested this year 334, as compared to 437 in 2014. The recoveries of weapons from Maoists were also down from 120 in 2014 to 69 this year.

According to the data, while there were lesser encounters (exchange of fire) this year, the incidents of IED explosion increased from 28 to 38.


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