Naxal sightings on the decline

The number of sightings of left-wing extremists in the Tamil Nadu-Kerala-Karnataka tri-junction has fallen steeply since 2016, according to the police. There were 117 confirmed sightings in 2016 but just 38 this year, indicating a thining of the Maoist presence in the region.

Based on data released by the Nilgiris district police, of the 117 sightings of Maoists in 2016, 115 were on the Kerala side of the border, with one each in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In 2017, the number fell sharply to 90, with 86 reported in Kerala, three in Karnataka, and one in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.

Ever since the killing of two Maoists in Nilambur towards the end of 2016, the number of sightings has greatly reduced, said police officials.

Nilgiris District Superintendent of Police, D. Shanmuga Priya, said the Nilgiris district police were working on strengthening border police stations and checkposts, with plans to introduce additional Naxal Special Division (NSD) teams, who along with Special Task Force (STF) police would step up patrols along the border to first minimize, and ultimately eradicate the Maoist presence in the region.

“We are also in close contact with our counterparts in Kerala and Karnataka, sharing information and working in a coordinated manner to prevent left-wing extremism from taking root in the region,” said Ms. Shanmuga Priya, adding that the Tamil Nadu police’s efforts to maintain an impregnable border with Kerala had ensured that there was zero Maoist presence in the region.

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