The recruitment of the ultras has also dried up in Andhra Pradesh over the past few years. (Agencies)
"The Naxal menace in Andhra Pradesh is gradually on the decline and surrender and rehabilitation initiative of the AP government also played a rich dividend and major role in drawing away recruits from Naxalite groups," a senior police officer said.
Out of the 23 incidents, nine murders were reported till December 11 this year as compared to 11 reported in 2012.
Three extremists had been killed in 2012, while four were killed during anti-Naxalite operations this year even as the number of exchanges of fire with police rose to nine this year as compared to five last year.
The incidents of arson by Naxals declined to two this year from nine last year. Similarly the number of blasts/ damages also came down to one from eleven in 2012. Though, the number of Naxal attacks on policemen, (including landmines) stood at three each this year as compared to 2012 and one policeman was killed each last year as well as this year so far.
Andhra Pradesh Police arrested 134 Maoists and recovered 27 arms from them till December 11 this year as compared to 274 arrests and 36 firearms recovery last year. 62 ultras surrendered this year as compared to 297 in the previous year.
"The Maoists recruitment has dried up in Andhra Pradesh and the rebels are facing severe shortage of ammunition and weapons not only in Andhra Pradesh, but also in places affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) across the country," the police officer said.
However, the Maoists are desperate to make a comeback in the districts located along Andhra-Chhattisgarh and Andhra-Odisha borders, the officer said, adding that the ultras are more active in Visakhapatnam and Khammam districts.
The officer said there are around 280 underground cadres (from AP) operating in different states and in the bordering areas of the state, while 40 are active in Andhra Pradesh. He pointed out that of the 17 members of the central committee, 11 are from Andhra Pradesh.
Among the major arrests of Maoists during 2013, a joint team of the Assam Police and the Special Intelligence Branch from Andhra Pradesh arrested top CPI (Maoist) leader Anukul Chandra Naskar alias Goer Chandra Naskar alias Pareshji in Assam's Cachar district in May.
Hardcore Maoist Sriramula Srinivas alias Sudarshan, who was wanted in connection with several cases including the killing of former Home Minister A Madhava Reddy, was arrested in Khammam district in March.
Another senior Maoist leader Pusa Sivanarayana, who was in-charge of the Central Committee protection platoon, was arrested in Medak district in October.
The 'Greyhounds' forces, an elite anti-Naxal commando force of Andhra Pradesh Police, are also participating in inter-state anti-extremist operations against Maoists in Odisha and also in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra, the police officer said.
The recruitment of the ultras has also dried up in Andhra Pradesh over the past few years.