The leftist-liberal cabal is already indulging in desperate propaganda against the government after several urban naxals were arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence. However, they will be further shocked to know that this is not it. The government is not yet done with it and is now planning a total crackdown on urban naxals in order to make sure that naxalism no longer enjoys a support base. While the government has been tremendously successful in its anti-naxal operations over the last four years, now it plans to up the ante and take the fight to naxals beyond field operations as well.
CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar has told PTI in an interview that a first-time concerted action is being taken against ‘overground’ Maoist supporters in various states. In a major success, 500 such supporters have been arrested by the security forces from Chhattisgarh alone over the last one year. He added that the CRPF is working in coordination with state police forces and fresh action is being taken to deny any space to the left wing extremists. The aim is to counter the naxals beyond field operations. This means more trouble for the urban naxals as the security forces are going to be unforgiving in their crackdown on the urban support base to naxalites. The CRPF Director General also stated, “We are working with the local police and we are seeing that all the people who have been identified, either ‘jan militia’ or are wanted in different cases, they are rounded up (by the police). More than 500 people with the help of our forces have been taken into custody in the last one year in Chhattisgarh. We are trying to see that their (Naxal) overall support is also reduced.”
The security forces have already discovered how core naxalism is being funded by their urban counterparts. Several urban naxals disguising as human rights activists have also been arrested for having Maoist links. As far as the latest arrests in connection with Bhima-Koregaon violence are concerned, Pune police has provided strong evidence linking those arrested with naxals.
The CRPF Director General also talked about his force’s successful campaign in the naxal hit regions and the operational changes made by CRPF in order to tackle naxals in a more efficient way. He stated that 160 naxals have been neutralised this year in various states and the number of incidents were maximum in Chhattisgarh followed by the state of Jharkhand. He also stated that greater emphasis is being placed on the General Duty (GD) battalions as well and not only on special units like the COBRA (specialised jungle warfare unit of CRPF). He also talked about infusion of young troops in order to step up the heat against naxals.
Finally, the Director General stated that there has been a 40 per cent decline in naxalism over the past few years and that today it is restricted to certain areas such as Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar region, cut-off area in Odisha which is the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border and parts of Jharkhand. Indeed, naxalism has seen a sharp decline and is almost on the verge of extinction. Several encounters by the local police and security forces along with a number of arrests and surrenders by naxals have led to weakening of naxal support base.
The government has achieved tremendous success in anti-naxal operations and now it is trying to beat naxalism on the ideological front as well. The government is easily able to diminish naxal support base in stronghold areas by carrying out developmental work. However, raids and arrests are the only way of fighting the naxals in urban areas and metro cities. It seems that the government is going to be unforgiving and crackdown on urban maoists is going to continue.