Nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed on Tuesday after Naxals blew up their mine-protected vehicle in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, around a year after a dozen jawans were killed in a similar ambush in the district brings to the fore the Centre’s battle against Left Wing Extremism (LWE). CRPF has been the worst affected in this battle of wits where its men have been scarifying their lives. The attack comes just after a year at the same place where 12 of the force’s men were killed in an ambush in the Bhejji area which was replica of the attack which took place on the same day when Maoist struck in Tahkawada region of Bastar in 2014 killing 16. The Maoists have been striking at will and inflicting heavy casualty over the para-military forces. The NDA Government has been claiming that since it came to power in 2014, Maoist violence has dipped considerably. In 2016, Chhattisgarh accounted for more than 37 per cent of the Naxal violence, followed by Jharkhand and Bihar. At the height of activity, the Naxalites were groups of far-left Maoist militants. Since the 1970s, they are considered a “failed” group that has largely broken in to small pockets and cells in India. There has to be some security lapses and chinks in the armour as it cannot be simple ideologically motivated Naxals who pick their target at convenience. There is no doubt that local support is with Naxals despite Centre’s all win over tactics under the garb of development as it was seen that lack of development in the area has led to the spread of Naxalism so that locals get a voice for their problems. During all these years CRPF has been on the target of Naxals and whatever civilian casualty is there it can be treated as collateral damage. Centre has to change its tactics and would have to reconsider its anti-Naxal operations.
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