People hold candles and placard to pray for CRPF jawans who lost their lives in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. (Source: PTI)

2017 Deadliest Year, April 2017 Deadliest Month For Security Forces In Chhattisgarh In 7 Years 

With 72 security personnel killed in Maoist-related violence in 2017, it is already the deadliest year in the past seven years for security forces, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP).

On April 24, 2017, 26 Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in an ambush by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. The encounter with 74 battalion of CRPF occurred at Kala Pathar near Chintagufa in Sukma, the worst Maoist violence-affected district in south Bastar area of the state.

2017 Deadliest Year, April 2017 Deadliest Month For Security Forces In Chhattisgarh In 7 Years 

Maoist outfits cause the most terror deaths in India, IndiaSpend reported on November 19, 2015.

Maoists are left-wing communist radicals attempting to overthrow India’s government through force. The regions most affected by Maoist violence lie in a wide swath of mineral-rich, forested tribal lands, from Maharashtra to West Bengal. Tribals account for a third of the 21 million people displaced by development projects, as IndiaSpend reported on June 17, 2014, fuelling a resentment that the Naxals exploit.

April 2017: Deadliest month in past seven years

With 49 deaths, April 2017 is the deadliest month for security forces in Chhattisgarh in the past seven years. The deadliest month in the past decade was April 2010, when 76 security personnel died in Dantewada, the most fatal Maoist ambush ever.

More security forces have died in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Chhattisgarh (235) than in any other state between 2011 and 2015, IndiaSpend reported on April 14, 2015.

2017 Deadliest Year, April 2017 Deadliest Month For Security Forces In Chhattisgarh In 7 Years 

Update: The story and the headline have been updated to clarify that the figures from the South Asia Terrorism Portal refer to casualties of security personnel, and not just CRPF personnel.

(Devanik Saha is an MA Gender and Development student at Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.)

This article has been published in arrangement with IndiaSpend.