For The First Time In Over A Decade, Incidents Of Maoist Violence Below 1,000 Mark Central Force deployed to ensure peaceful polling in LWE affected Balarampur district. (Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The number of violent Maoist incidents in the country’s ten left-wing extremism (LWE) affected states remained below the 1,000 mark, The Hindu has reported.

According to the daily’s report, which cited data released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, 851 incidents of LWE were reported till 15 December. The number has come down significantly compared to 1016 incidents during the same period in 2016. At least 1048 incidents were reported in 2016.

The number of violent Maoist incidents in 10 LWE affected states of the country has always been above the 1,000 mark.

According to a Home Ministry official quoted by the daily, the decline could either be attributed to the “attrition of various level cadres of Maoists” and the strategy of “deliberately lying low.” Another official said the top Maoist leadership may not be as active as before due to “ageing and ailments”.

“First of all, youths are no more enamoured to join the Maoists which has led to the attrition in cadres at all levels. They are not getting even 50% of the recruits they got earlier. The other reason could be strategic: to lie low,” said Senior Security Adviser to the Home Ministry, K Vijay Kumar.

The maximum number of violent Maoist incidents, more than twice the current number, were reported in 2009. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, which had the Left as its collision partner, was blamed by the opposition for the failure.

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