Maoists Threaten to Disrupt Polls in Central India
As per the website Defencenews.in, data received through a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that 1,190 Left Wing Extremists have been killed by security forces in the country since 2010, an RTI response has revealed. There have been 11,567 incidents involving Maoists during the period in which 1,331 security personnel suffered injuries, the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Division, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, stated in the reply. The maximum extremists, 225, were eliminated in 2018, followed by 2016 (222), 2010 (172), 2017 (136), and 2013 (100), according to the reply under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. 99 Maoists were killed in 2011, 89 in 2015, 74 in 2012, 66 in 2014, and 89 in 2019 (till January 31)
The Year on Year decline in violence is thus welcome but there is still a long way to go as is evident from the fact that there have been over 800 incidents in 2018
Intelligence agencies have however warned that Naxals are planning lethal attacks in Central India with most of the highly vulnerable areas such as Bastar in Chhattisgarh going in for vote on 11 April. The rebels have also increased their activity on the ground issuing posters and threatening locals not to participate in the polls process. Ideologically proponents of governance through the barrel of the gun, the democratic process are anathema to the Left Wing Extremists who will attempt to target the elections vigorously.
There is a need for sustaining vigilance beyond the period when elections will be held in the affected zone as a large number of security personnel will be pulled out for election duties elsewhere rebels will attempt to expand their area of influence.
Maoists are also attacking soft targets as per the Hindustan Times. For instance the Maoists blew up the house of a former member of the Bihar Legislative Council (MLC) and BJP leader Anuj Kumar Singh in the state’s Gaya district. An armed squad of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) also threatened the villagers with dire consequences if they failed to ensure a total boycott of the LokSabha election 2019 across the Magadh division [Southern belt] of the state. In February they torched a government middle school which was turned into a police camp for the election.