PATNA: THE death of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan in an encounter with Maoists on January 2 has woken up the security establishment to the fact that Bihar’s Maoist crisis is far from over.
After all, 2017 was a good year for the security forces combating left-wing extremism in Bihar. For the first time in 12 years, there was no casualty among security personnel in encounters with the rebels.
In contrast, 10 Maoists were gunned down in encounters in 2017, and there were only 68 incidents of violence by the rebels during the year, the lowest in 10 years.
As many as 354 Maoists were arrested and six surrendered in 2017.
All this had prompted a top security official to claim last year that left-wing extremism had been wiped out in much of Bihar. But a spate of disruptive activities and violent attacks by the rebels were witnessed in south Bihar in December, forcing the authorities to reassess the situation. The arrest of three Maoists in East Champaran on December 10 also shattered perceptions about north Bihar having become free of Maoist s.
Jamui SP Jagannath Jalla Reddy said wiping out left-wing extremism was his top priority. “Seven districts in southern Bihar, including five in Magadh division that have a difficult topography, still remain a hotbed of Maoist activities. They are learnt to be consolidating their resources despite recent setbacks,” said an official of Bihar Police Special Task Force.