As many as 76 Naxals were killed and 1,017 ultras arrested by the security forces in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas of Chhattisgarh in 2017, a senior police officer said here today.
He also asserted that 2017 was a successful year for the state in its fight against the Maoists.
At the same time, the security forces lost 59 personnel in Naxal-related incidents in the last year, officials said, quoting statistics provided by the police in this regard.
Normalcy was restored in many Naxalism-hit areas due to the consistent operations of the security forces and also because of development activities, Special Director General (Anti-Naxal Operations) D M Awasthi told reporters today.
The security forces had achieved a major success in their fight against LWE in 2017, he said, adding that as many as 76 Maoists, including 51 senior cadre carrying a cumulative cash reward of Rs 2.08 crore on their heads, were killed in encounters in the state during the year.
Similarly, 1,017 rebels, including 79 senior cadre carrying a total cash reward of Rs 1.41 crore on their heads, were arrested, the IPS officer said.
Besides,365 ultras had put down their arms last year, he added.
At least 221 weapons, including one light machine gun (the first such recovery in the state),?six AK-47 rifles, as many Insas rifles and five SLRs were recovered from the insurgents, Awasthi said.
New forward posts were set up in the core Maoist areas for a strategic advance and effective anti-Naxal operations, he added.
Sukma, Dantewada,?Narayanpur, Kondgaon, Kanker, Bastar, Rajnandgaon and Kabeerdham were the districts where these posts were set up, the officer said.
He added that the security forces were also providing protection to the personnel and equipment engaged in road construction and other development activities in the LWE-hit areas.
The construction of 11 roads under the RRP (Road Requirement Plan)-1 was completed and the work was under progress on 22 other road projects, Awasthi said.
Talking about the targets of the police in 2018, he said, "Offensive intelligence-based operations (against Naxals) will be carried out in the core areas this year."
Addressing the security vacuum in the core areas and providing security to the ongoing road construction works and other development works would also be the key targets of the police this year, Awasthi added.