Law and order, crime control and anti-Naxal operations in the sensitive zone reviewed

Bastar IG Sundarraj P, along with the SPs of the seven districts and the DIG of Kanker range, reviews the anti-Naxal operations in the region.

The sensitive Bastar region has reported a 28 per cent fall in Maoist violence related cases in the year 2021 compared to 2020, the Chhattisgarh police has said.

In all, 226 cases of Maoist violence were registered by the police compared to 316 in 2020, shows a report shared with media by Bastar inspector general of police (IG) Sundarraj P. on Sunday.

The report was shared following a review of law and order situation, crime investigation, COVID-19 situation and anti-Naxal operations in the seven districts of Bastar division. Also the action plan for the year 2022 was finalised during the meeting, the IG said.

The report shows that 550 Maoists surrendered in 2021, an increase of almost 38 per cent compared to 2020 when 342 ultras had laid their arms before police. The number of Maoists killed by the security forces went up from 40 to 51 while those arrested went up from 438 to 487. The number of encounters, however, went up to 74 from 69 of previous year.

Meanwhile, 46 security forces personnel were also killed in the line of duty (anti-Naxal operations) during the year. Of these, 23 CRPF personnel were killed in a single ambush by Maoists in Sukma district in April.

Maoists also killed 34 civilians during the year though the figure was quite less compared to 2020, when 47 civilians were killed, the report shows.

The number of seizures of improvised explosive devices (IED) went down to 169 from 278 of 2020 and weapon seizures also went down from 89 to 77.

The IG said that during the course of the year, 14 new security camps that function as 'integrated development camps' with facilities for civilians, have come up in six districts of Bastar. This takes the total number of new camps in the past three years to 26.

General crimes go up by 3.32%

Meanwhile, the incidents of other crimes in the division in 2021 went up by 3.32 per cent (5127 cases) compared to 2020 (4962 cases), the police report shows. The IG said that this nominal rise was in keeping with the national trend due to rising population and urbanisation, increase in number of vehicles and rise in awareness of rights among citizens (leading to reporting/registration of more cases).

He said that the increase from 2020 to 2021 was lesser compared to crime rate increase in previous years. Between 2018-19, a five per cent rise was reported while between 2019-20, a rise of four per cent was reported.

Among the crimes that showed rising trend include murders (14 per cent), rapes (10 per cent) and abduction/kidnapping (10 per cent). A worrying 29 per cent rise has been seen in cases of deaths due to negligence (IPC section 304-A) that mainly include deaths due to road and other accidents.

However, there was a decrease of 21 per cent in attempt to murder cases, 14 per cent in sexual harassment cases, 30 per cent in cases of violent clashes/riots, 20 per cent in dowry deaths, 26 per cent drop in dowry harassment and 25 per cent in cases of physical assault, the report showed.

Superintendents of police (SPs) of Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar, Dantewada, Kanker, Sukma and Kondagaon districts and deputy inspector general (DIG) of Kanker range made presentations on current situation and 2022 action plan during the meeting. Officials of paramilitary forces and special armed forces posted in Bastar division were also present during the meeting.