A good part of Naxal terrorists are women

A total of 125 security posts, including 18 in 2024, have been set up by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in states affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in the last four years, providing a significant advantage to the security forces in the fight against the Naxals, officials said on Wednesday. Most of the posts, known as forward operating bases (FOBs), were set up deep inside forest areas, which were out of bound for government officials and security forces till their establishment.

The CRPF has set up 18 FOBs so far in 2024. Thirty-one such posts were established in 2023, 48 in 2022 and 28 in 2021, an official said.

With the establishment of these posts, the security forces fighting the Naxals have got a significant advantage, the official added.

More than 90 Naxals were killed, over 125 arrested and 150 have surrendered so far this year in Chhattisgarh alone, another official said.

According to the data of the Ministry of Home Affairs, LWE-related violence has declined by 52 per cent in the country and the number of deaths by 69 per cent, from 6,035 to 1,868, in the period between 2014 and 2023 as compared to the period from 2004 to 2014.

Following a detailed review of the security situation in the Naxal-affected states late last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had directed security forces to proactively carry out operations against the Maoists.

Shah's direction soon translated into the formation of a high-powered committee, which had the state directors general of police (DGPs), the directors general (DG) of the CRPF, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other officers of the anti-Maoist grid as its members.

The results of proactive action against the Naxals are visible now on the ground, an official said.

In the biggest encounter ever in Chhattisgarh, security personnel gunned down 29 Naxalites, including some senior cadre, in Kanker district last month.

This was the highest number of fatalities suffered by Maoists in a single encounter in the history of the state's fight against LWE.

According to the home ministry's data, the number of LWE incidents has gone down from 14,862 to 7,128 in 2014-23 as compared to 2004-14.

The number of deaths of security personnel due to LWE has declined by 72 per cent, from 1,750 in 2004-14 to 485 in 2014-23, and the number of civilian deaths declined by 68 per cent, from 4,285 to 1,383.

The number of districts hit by such violence was 96 in 2010, which declined by 53 per cent to 45 in 2022. Along with this, the number of police stations reporting such violence decreased from 465 in 2010 to 176 in 2022.

In the last five years, more than 5,000 post offices were set up in 90 districts that have Naxal presence or where the ultras were present in the past.

As many as 1,298 bank branches were opened and 1,348 ATMs made operational in the 30 most-affected districts, officials said.

A total of 4,885 mobile towers were constructed at a cost of Rs 2,690 crore in the Naxal-hit areas and 9,356 km roads laid at a cost of Rs 10,718 crore.

Local youngsters are being engaged by setting up 121 Eklavya residential schools, 43 ITIs and 38 skill-development centres, officials said.

(With Agency Inputs)