In a major victory for the Security Forces on Sunday, the special Director General, anti-Naxal operations on Monday told ANI news that they had successfully gunned down more than 20 Naxals in Chattisgarh’s Sukma district. As per the Director-General D.M. Awasthi, the security forces comprising of the elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) gave a befitting reply to the Naxals in the operation.
It was reported yesterday that the encounter started at about 11 AM in the Elarmadgu village, falling under the Bhejji police station region of Sukma and went on till about 5 PM. The heavy firing which accompanied the encounter, unfortunately, resulted in the death of two security personnel and injured six others. A road construction manager too was one of those who had perished.
The action against the Naxals on and off the battlefield has seen various positive developments in the last few years.
As per the figures maintained by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), the year 2017 saw a total of 150 left-wing terrorists getting killed. Apart from this, a total of 547 such Naxals opted to leave their violent ways and surrender. The state topping the encounter charts was Chhattisgarh with 78 deaths. Its Maoist bastion of Dantewada was what witnessed the most surrenders, clocked at 195.
2016 was even more fruitful in this aspect, with security forces killing about 244 Naxals and about 2281 chose to surrender. Chhattisgarh in this case too topped the charts with 133 Maoist deaths. 2018 so far has begun on a positive note and as per data updated till 11th February, a total of 18 Naxals have been killed and 7 have surrendered.
Here’s a chart of a total of Maoist deaths and surrenders in the past 10 years:
Going via a broader spectrum, from 2005 to 2018, a total of 2684 Maoists have been killed in encounters. The years have also unfortunately seen a very high number of civilian and security personnel deaths of 3062 and 1936 respectively.
Such a data analysis though might merely tell a part of the story as besides encounters, the Indian administration is using one of the most powerful weapons at its disposal – Development.
As reported in the past year, the development includes setting up of mobile towers and construction of roads. The construction of roads came in the backdrop of the Centre deciding to spend a whopping Rs 11,000 crore for providing road connectivity to 44 Maoist-affected districts, including Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, where 25 CRPF personnel were killed in a deadly Maoist ambush in April.
Besides this, it was reported how the Indian Railway had successfully started the first Express train in the Maoist bastion of Dantewada.
The ITBP jawans had given another jolt to Maoist aspirations by building a bridge over Tatoda river in the Maoist-infested Kaneri village of Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, in just 30 days. This bridge before its completion was pending for about 9 years due to the Maoist threat and its construction was pitted to help around 10,000 villagers of 60 villages.