Sharp drop in Red violence this year

New Delhi: Maoist violence, in terms of number of incidents and people killed, has declined this year in comparison to the last two years but this is being seen by the government as a strategic move on part of the Left-wing extremists.

Going by government records, only 1,300 incidents of violence took place between January 1 and September 30, 2011, while 450 security personnel and 90 Maoists were killed. This is an almost 25% drop from figures recorded for the corresponding period in 2010.

Last year (January-September), there were 1,675 violent attacks and 780 security personnel and 120 Naxals were killed. In 2009, 900 security personnel and 220 Maoists were killed in 2,250 incidents between January and December.

This decline in number of attacks is in no way being viewed as a retreat on part of the Naxals or weakening of forces. Rather, the government feels it is a strategic move, since Maoists are keen not to attract unnecessary attention when they are busy regrouping and re-strategising before the party congress coming up next year.

Since the CPI (Maoist) leadership is looking at the long-term battle and some important leaders have either been killed like Azad or are behind bars like Kobad Gandhi and other politburo members, it is taking time to work out its new tactics and fill in vacancies to run the movement across the seven states where it dominates so far.

The process of deciding on new strategies and distributing responsibilities to leaders and cadre is said to be on. That party leaders are in a huddle is also reflected from the fact that there have been few official statements coming from CPI (Maoist) over the past few months. Usually, Maoists respond frequently to national and international political issues through official statements declaring the party line.

The only attacks from Maoists, like the one in Chhattisgarh last week where five policemen were killed, are coming when there are attempts by security forces to move close to the “safe zone”. The main mission for the Maoists then is to protect their leaders.

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