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Maoists: Explosive Assertions

Maoists: Explosive Assertions

Deepak Kumar Nayak Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management | @indiablooms | 09 Dec 2019, 11:48 am

On December 8, 2019, two personnel of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), a specialised unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare, were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion triggered by cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) near the Piyakuli Hills of Tamar town in Ranchi District, Jharkhand.

On December 2, 2019, a CRPF trooper was injured while defusing one of five IEDs planted by cadres of the CPI-Maoist in the Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh. While the SFs successfully defused four IEDs planted between Sarkeguda and Tarrem villages, the fifth IED planted in the nearby Sagmetta village exploded while being defused, injuring the trooper.

On November 30, 2019, cadres of the CPI-Maoist triggered an IED explosion, blowing up a bridge, in Bishnupur town, Gumla District, Jharkhand. No casualty was reported.

On November 22, 2019, a CRPF trooper sustained injuries in an IED explosion carried out by CPI-Maoist cadres near Tarrem village under Basaguda Police Station limits in Bijapur District, Chhattisgarh. The incident took place when a patrolling team of the CRPF’s 168 Battalion was out on an area domination operation.

According to partial data collated by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), Maoists have already carried out at least 47 IED explosions killing 35 persons, including 11 civilians, 22 SF personnel, and two Naxalites (Left Wing Extremists), while injuring another 97 persons, including 47 civilians and 50 SF personnel, in the current year (data till December 8, 2019).

Since March 6, 2000, when SATP started compiling data on Left Wing Extremist (LWE)-linked violence, at least 1,432 incidents of IED explosion have been carried out by LWEs, resulting in at least 1,774 fatalities, including 508 civilians; 1,137 SF personnel; 89 Naxalites (LWEs); and 40 unspecified, while another 2,078 persons sustained injuries, including 712 civilians; 1,253 SF personnel; 56 Naxalites; and 57 unspecified. The highest number of such incidents were recorded in 2009, at 187, resulting in 182 fatalities; including 36 civilians; 128 SF personnel; and 18 Naxalites, while another 221 persons sustained injuries, including 64 civilians; 145 SF personnel; one Naxalite, and 11 unspecified. However, in terms of casualties, 2010 was the worst year. At least 388 fatalities, including 200 civilians; 177 SF personnel; two Naxalites; and nine unspecified, and another 295 injuries, including 208 civilians; 71 SF personnel; one Naxalite, and 15 unspecified, were recorded in 149 IED explosions in 2010.

An overview of the geographical distribution of IED explosions suggests that the maximum of 362 such incidents were reported from Chhattisgarh, followed by Jharkhand, 312; Andhra Pradesh, 236; Bihar, 228; Odisha, 172; West Bengal, 64; Maharashtra, 44; Telangana, six; and two each from Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. One incident was reported from Madhya Pradesh.