Maoists admit to have taken a body blow, 155 killed this year
As many as 155 Maoists have been eliminated by the security forces in 2017. This number was released by the Maoists themselves before their annual PLGA establishment week, which begins from 2 December. The People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week is observed by the Maoists to mark the foundation day of the CPI-ML (People’s War Group), which was formed on 2 December 2000 after which it merged with the Maoist Communist Centre in September 2004.
As per the statement released by the Maoists’ “south sub zonal bureau”, 115 ultras active in the Dandakaranya region got killed this year. Dandakaranya is a 92,000 sq km area encompassing parts of Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and until recently was considered as a no-go area for the security forces because of heavy Maoist presence. As many as 45 Maoists, who were a part of the “south sub zonal bureau”, which “handles” operations in Chhattisgarh, were among the 155 killed by the security forces. Among the prominent Maoists eliminated by the security forces this year are Narayan Sanyal, a member of the central committee and his colleague Kuppu Deoraj, apart from Raghunath Mahto, Himadri Rai and Ajita, all members of the state committee. The list of those killed includes 30 women Maoists.
However, the Maoists also claimed that in this same January-October period, they killed 62 security personnel, injured 68 and looted 35 weapons. They also eliminated 20 civilians, who, they claimed, were working as informers for the security forces.
As per records available with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in 2017 (until 31 October), 70 security personnel were killed by the Maoists and 122 were injured, while 98 Maoists were killed in the same period by the security forces. In 2016, as many as 222 Maoists were killed. During the same period, 159 civilians were killed in Maoist related violence. Maoism in India, as per government records, is spread across 10 states and 106 districts.
Officials said that a redrawing of the “Red Corridor” is likely to happen soon and at least 20 districts are likely to be taken off the list of 106 Maoist-affected districts in 10 states—Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. This is because of a significant drop in Maoist related violence. Out of these 106 districts, 44 districts are said to be the worst affected.
It was in March 2012 that the security forces, for the first time, carried out extensive anti-Maoist operations in the Abujmarh forest, which is a part of the Dandakarayana region. The operation was overseen by the then SP of Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district, Mayank Shrivastava. This was seen as the first direct “hit” against the Maoists.