New Delhi: Demonetisation has broken the backbone of Maoists to a significant extent in the country, especially in Chhattisgarh, claimed a report released by BJP vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on Wednesday. The report titled ‘Demonetisation: Impact on combating Naxalism’ was prepared by the Public Policy Research Centre which is a right-wing think-tank, headed by Sahasrabuddhe.

While the Maoist arrests saw a 55 per cent decline, the incidents of Naxal violence across the country in 2017 witnessed a 20 per cent decrease when compared to the year 2015. The report said: “the decision to phase out high-value currency notes choked the financial reserves of the Naxalites”.

Incidents of Maoist violence, which stood at 466 in 2015, came down to 395 in 2016 and 373 in 2017. Similarly, the number of Naxals arrested in 2017 was 796 as against the 512 arrested in 2015. The report further said, “Lack of resources at the disposal of the Naxals caused by demonetisation gave an opportunity to the security forces to bring the Naxalites in the mainstream after surrendering them with arms.”

During the release of the report, Rajya Sabha MP from BJP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said that the demonetisation move has invalidated the high currency notes stacked by the Naxals in Chhattisgarh. PPRC researcher Mani Bhushan Kumar Jha said that demonetisation forced the Maoists to enter the villagers to get their supplies of essentials. Thus the security forces were able to gather local intelligence and easily crackdown the Maoists.

The number of security personnel deaths had declined to 75 in 2017 as against the 115 in 2015. The number of civilians killed in 2017 came down to 188 as against the 282 killed in 2013. However, the report pointed out that the number of Naxals killed had increased from 100 in 2015 to 150 in 2017 and the number of Naxals arrested in 2017 was 1,888 as against the 1,397 in 2015.

The PPRC claimed that a research team appointed to research on the topic had done field work in the Naxal-affected districts of Chhattisgarh which includes Sukma, Bijapur, Rajnandgaon and Narayanpur. They also gathered their source material from the tribals and surrendered Naxals of the state.

(With Agency Inputs)