Five Maoists were gunned down by security forces during an early morning encounter in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum today. According to news agency ANI, two-AK 47s, one 303 rifle and two pistols were also recovered from the extremists. Earlier on January 25, a woman Maoist was neutralised in an encounter in neighbouring Chhattisgarh's Sukma district. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Maoist literature, medicines, items of daily use and other Maoist-related materials were also seized from the spot.
Apart from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra is also affected by Left-Wing Extremism. On January 22, suspected Maoists had shot dead three villagers in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district on suspicion that their tip-off to police led to killing of 40 extremists in a massive operation in the region last year, a police official said.
Armed Maoists from Chhattisgarh entered Kasnasur village near Kosfundi phata in Bhamragad taluka, around 950 km from Mumbai in the early hours, and went to the houses of Malu Madavi, Kanna Madavi and Lalsu Kudyeti, a police official said. The Maoists had dragged the villagers outside their houses and shot them dead.
However, the Narendra Modi government has maintained that there has been a considerable fall in the left-wing extremism. "As far as the Maoists are concerned, they are fighting a lost battle. Extremism by Maoists has shown a significant decrease ( in the country)," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said last year. The Home Minister said Maoist influence was spread across 135 districts of the country. "Now it has come down to 90 districts. This is the achievement of our four years of rule and if we go further in describing it, only ten districts have been left where there is high influence of Maoists," he said.
On being asked about reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the radar of such extremists, Singh said, "We are very cautious about the security of our prime minister". The senior BJP leader added that the north-east has also seen a dip in extremist activities.
(With agency inputs)