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New Anti-Maoist Strategy Reduces Afflicted District From 67 To 58

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 24 , 2018 , 10:39 IST

The number of districts afflicted by violence due to Maoist activities has seen a considerable decrease over the past few years, with 75 districts across 9 states reporting Naxal attacks in 2015, reduced to 64 districts in 2016 and 58 districts only in 2017.

A redrawn counter-insurgency strategy, supported by real-time intelligence using modern technology such as drones, and coordinated day and night operations by security personnel have led to the reduction in the number of districts afflicted by left-wing extremism.

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According to CRPF data, from the earlier 9 states affected by Naxal attacks, now more than 90 percent of the attacks are reported from 4 states only, namely, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations have termed 2017 as one of the most successful years for the security forces.

CRPF director general Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said to TOI, "The past year, we have hit the Naxals in their den. Our coordination with state police, intelligence agencies and armed forces has been exceptional. The focus has been on leaders, over ground operatives and sympathisers. The Naxals are not able to move arms, funds and their senior leaders from one place to another."

He added that the influence of Naxals is now restricted to only three pockets — Bastar-Sukma (having an area of around 1200 sq km), AOB (Andhra-Odisha Border — 2,000 sq km) and Abujmaad forest area (4,500 sq km).

"There is a security vacuum and administration has not been able to completely access these areas," Bhatnagar said.

The anti-Maoist strategy was revamped after union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met with the Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected areas in May last year after the Sukma attack killing 25 CRPF personnel.