Visakhapatnam: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) annual report 2018-19, says that Andhra Pradesh stands sixth among the 10 worst Maoist affected states in India. Though Maoists violence decreased by 53 per cent in 2018-19 when compared to 2017-18 in Andhra Pradesh, the year 2018-19 saw the most violent crimes by Maoists.
However, Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities have increased in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.
In Andhra Pradesh, Maoists were involved in 12 incidents of violence. They killed three persons, including two Telugu Desam (TD) leaders — Araku Valley MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former Araku Valley MLA Siveri Soma — near Livitiput area under Dumbriguda Mandal in Vizag Agency on September 23, 2018. Majority of the violent incidents were reported in the Vizag district. In 2016, the rebels were involved in 26 incidents of violence and killed seven persons in the state.
Among the other states, Chhattisgarh recorded as many as 392 incidents and 153 deaths and remained the worst affected state. Jharkhand recorded 205 incidents and 43 deaths, while Maharashtra and Odisha recorded 75 incidents and 12 deaths in each state.
A senior police officer said that Naxalism in Andhra Pradesh has entered its last leg, with an increase in Maoists deaths, surrenders and arrests of the outfit’s leaders. However, the killing of TD leaders Kidarai Sarveswara Rao and Siveri Soma in 2018 sent a warning to security forces to be alert.
Andhra Pradesh DGP, Gautam Sawang said, “There is an improvement in the Left Wing Extremism scenario in Andhra Pradesh. It is due to the strong presence of security forces across the LWE affected states and better operational strategy with neighbouring Odisha and other states.”
With the surrenders and arrest of low-rank Maoist leaders, the CPI Maoist has been trying to recruit young blood into the outfit. But their efforts have failed to attract tribal youth, as people have lost faith in Maoists, the top cop added.