This year has been a happy hunting season for our armed forces. With still around 40 days to go, the forces have already tasted unprecedented success this year. There is no doubt that for a number of reasons, 2017 will be remembered by our brave men as one of the most fruitful of years in the quest to eliminate both internal threats and threats that are ‘infiltrated’ into our land from our neighbour.
A few days back, 6 Pakistani terrorists who’d infiltrated were eliminated in a single day. One of the terrorists killed was top LeT leader Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s nephew. With this, the Indian Army has successfully finished the top LeT leadership in the Valley, which is an achievement beyond comparison.
The Army has eliminated 190 terrorists this year which is much more than the numbers notched up in any previous year. With sustained ‘Cordon and Search Operations’ (CASO) and ‘Search and Destroy Operations’ (SADO), the Army has dealt terrorism in the Valley a huge blow.
Such operations weren’t allowed until a few months back when the Narendra Modi government gave the Army freedom to conduct them. They were abhorred by the previous governments because they mean moving deep into villages and exterminating terrorists. Such operations cause inconvenience to the local populace – some of whom who defiantly give shelter to terrorists in their homes – and possess the risk of losing votes. But this government has shown spine and looked beyond petty electoral benefits.
The one aspect that has been almost completely ignored by the media is how Maoist-violence has fallen rapidly in the Central parts of the country. The media vehemently reported the attack by Maoists in Sukma that took the lives of 25 of our soldiers – and rightly so, the conditions in which the CRPF men work should be known to the public. They risk their lives in the most inhospitable of conditions and deserve the utmost respect for that. But it is disappointing that the media hasn’t reported the way the forces with the explicit backing of the government has fought back.
With clear instructions for the Modi government, the forces are now hunting Maoist leaders in their own dens. As a result of this, 63 Maoist commanders have been killed in 2017 alone; in 2016 only 8 commanders were killed! As part of the Prahar operations, the forces are now simply eliminating those who’re acting as obstructions to development in Chhattisgarh.
As a result of this all-out offensive in recent times and also the aggressive manner in which the Modi government has looked to tackle the menace of Left-Wing Extremism before it, Maoist recruitments have dropped by 70-80% in the last two years.
In 2017, only 123 Maoists have been recruited whereas previously 400 to 500 getting recruited was normal. Also, the top cadre strength has come down to nearly 1,000 as compared to 4,000 and more about three years ago.
So those questioning the government as to what it has done to counter security threats, it would suffice to say that for the first time, a central government is no more in reactionary mode. It is going for the kill, and along with our brave forces, credit must be given to Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and NSA Ajit Doval for unleashing the latent capability of our forces.