For the first time since 1980, Naxal casualties exceed that of cops’ in State

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 May 2018 12:50:47


By Kartik Lokhande,

If 2009 was the worst year for cops, 2018 is the best ever year for them since 1980 when the first encounter had taken place between cops and Naxals in the State. For the first time since 1980, reveals data on deaths of policemen and Naxalites/Maoists, the cumulative figure of casualties of Left Wing Extremists has exceeded that of policemen.

Between 1980 and 2017, a total of 187 Naxalites/Maoists had been killed in encounters in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Maharashtra. During the same period, the casualties of policemen stood at 213. However, start of the year 2018 has changed the ‘constant’. At the end of April 2018, the cumulative count of police casualties since 1980 remains unchanged at 213. However, the cumulative count of Naxalites/Maoists killed in encounters has jumped to 234. Needless to say that this historic change has been brought about by the recent two encounters in which 47 Maoists were eliminated by the cops in Gadchiroli district.

If one takes a look at the history through the portals of statistics, 2009 was the worst year for policemen as the Naxalites/Maoists had eliminated 52 cops in one single year. The incidents in 2009 had affected the morale of the police force very deeply, and the impact could be felt for next few years. In fact, people in the know of things recall that during that ‘sad period’ the cops were advised ‘not to take risks’. As a result, operations and even the long and short range patrolling was affected badly.

But, tide turned for policemen with the able leadership of Ravindra Kadam, the then Deputy Inspector General of Gadchiroli Range; and Suvez Haq, the then Superintendent of Police of Gadchiroli district. Both led from the front. While Kadam utilised his experience of years, Haq provided aggressive leadership to bring the police force out of fear. As a result, 2013 proved to be the best year for cops till then since 1980. In 2013, total 26 Naxalites/Maoists were eliminated in Gadchiroli district alone. Still, the difference between cumulative count of casualties of Naxalites/Maoists (143) and policemen (194) was wide.

After the transfer of Kadam and Haq both, again the police force on ground needed not only motivation but also aggressive leadership. Their wait continued till Dr Abhinav Deshmukh took over as Superintendent of Police of Gadchiroli district, and Ankush Shinde as Deputy Inspector General of Gadchiroli-Gondia Range. Soon after taking over charge of his office, Shinde made it a point to collaborate with Superintendent of Police, and talk to the locally raised commando force C-60. Some of the old Party Commanders were taken into confidence and their knowledge of terrain, forest, language, culture, and social exposure was utilised apart from their training in combat. And, since second half of the year 2017, situation started tilting in favour of Gadchiroli Police. And, 2018 has proven to be not only the best but also the historic year for cops, as the cumulative count of deaths of Naxalites/Maoists has exceeded that of policemen.

“Obviously, this has boosted the morale of not only C-60 commando force but also of overall police establishment. Though there are threats of some kind of counter attack from the baffled Maoists, cops are ready to thwart them,” said an official.
For now, it is in the store of time, how ably does the boosted morale of policemen yields the results and how effectively does the civilian administration and Government utilise this opportunity to usher in development of Gadchiroli and Gondia districts both.

Naxalites/Maoists, cops killed in Gadchiroli, Gondia districts

Year              Naxals/Maoists Killed  Cops killed 

1980                   01 -- 
1986                    01 --
1987                    02 --
1988                   --  02
1990                    01 --
1991                   08 13
1992                  02 09
1993   15 14
1994                    02  01
1995  -- 01
1996   01 --
1997                   01 05
1998   01 05
2000                   02 -- 
2001   01 01
2003                   09 08
2004   04 06
2005   03 25
2006   22 04
2007   07 03
2008                    11 06
2009                   07 52
2010   02 10
2011                   08 07
2012                   04 14
2013   26 06
2014                  13 11
2015   02 02
2016                   11 03
2017                   18 03


                  (till date) 47 --

Total 234                    213