officers said in their long years of experience in various theatres of conflict in India, intelligence agencies and security forces could never have achieved such success without decisive political will and implementation of a clearly delineated path of development, welfare, and intelligence-led operations.
“The past year is a milestone in containing India’s decades-old Maoist insurgency. In what appears to be sustained, painstaking, and long-term intelligence operations, culminating in well-coordinated action by security forces, the number of Maoist-affected police stations has reduced significantly in the past decade from almost 450 to about 200 and districts from about 100 to 50. We have also read several reports of surrenders of senior leadership and disenchantment of tribal youth with Maoism,” said the statement.
The retired police officers said it is clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision in extending social welfare initiatives like PM Kisan, PM Ujjwala, PM Awas, Ayushmann Bharat, and PM Garib Kalyan, and DBT to hitherto neglected regions was game-changing in Maoist-affected areas as well.
“Distribution of land titles to tribals and quality education to tribal youth at Central Government’s Eklavya Model Residential Schools have raised hopes and aspirations, weaning youth further away from Maoists and therefore reducing fresh recruitment to PLGA.
“Coupled with a conducive and clear policy environment, sustained interagency and inter-state coordination by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s hands-on and persuasive style of working must have been a key motivating factor,” said the statement.
As a result, the former police officers said, of all these initiatives, several high-level Maoist leaders were neutralised in the past year. As per newspaper reports, these include eight politburos (PBM) and central committee (CCM) members. In 2004, when the People’s War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) merged to form the CPI-Maoist there were 56 PBM/CCMs in all. During all these years, 36 have been neutralised, while 20 are still absconding.
“Devoid of realistic ideology, the terrorist outfit has increasingly been viewed by locals as anti-development, given its strident opposition to the construction of roads, bridges, and mobile towers in areas under its control. The decimation of the Maoist terrorist movement was a matter of time, given that its leadership is aging fast, recruitment has reduced significantly and security forces are spreading deeper into Maoist strongholds.
“In our collective assessment, the CPI Maoist’s military strategy of ‘protracted people’s war’ through an ‘armed liberation struggle’ appears to have failed,” the statement said.