No let up in operations to tackle Maoist menace: Rajnath

No let up in operations to tackle Maoist menace RajnathNEW DELHI: Two days after Naxals struck in a big way in Chhattisgarh, government today asserted in Parliament that there will be no let up in operations to eliminate Maoist menace and promised all support to the security forces to deal with it firmly.

In a suo motu statement in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the killing of 14 CRPF personnel on Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave details of the incident saying Maoists attacked the security forces, who were engaged in operations against them, that began on November 16 and resulted in reported killing of 12 Naxals.

Making it clear that there will be no let up in operations against the Maoists, Singh said the Central government was committed to firmly tackle the Maoists problem with a multi-pronged strategy and offering all possible resources to the state governments to deal with the menace.

“I would like to reiterate that the Central government is committed firmly to tackle the Left Wing Extremism. …It is our firm commitment to provide every possible assistance to the security forces and we will continue the operations till this problem is fully eradicated,” he said.

The Home Minister, who had visited Raipur yesterday to take stock of the situation there, said as part of the multi- pronged strategy, the government has taken security related steps and development related initiatives and ensuring rights and entitlements of tribals and other weaker sections.

“As a result of the implementation of this strategy, the morale of the Maoists has weakened. The number of surrenders of Maoists cadres has increased substantially in the current year. The LWE violence has also been declining since 2011 and this trend continues in the current year also,” he said.

Singh said whenever state governments ask for Central Armed Police Forces for maintaining peace, tackling extremism, natural calamities, the Central government normally makes forces available after due consideration.

“CAPFs, always act as per the directions of the state governments, maintaining coordination. We are also taking all possible measures to increase the capability of the state governments,” he said. . Giving details about the Monday’s incident, the Home Minister said the state police and the Central Armed Police Forces have been conducting operations in the LWE affected states to effectively tackle the problem.

On the basis of intelligence inputs about the movement of CPI (Maoist) cadres, CRPF launched a multi-phased massive operation on November 16 in the Chintagufa area of Sukma district.

In this operation, 2,253 CRPF personnel and 224 state police personnel (a total of 2,477 security forces personnel) participated. During the first and second phase of this operation on November 17 and November 21, there had been several encounters between security forces and Maoists.

On the basis of information received from various sources which include intelligence and media sources, there have been reports of killings of 12 Maoists on November 21.

However, this is yet to be confirmed. During this multi- phase operation, a few security forces personnel were injured and they have been given medical treatment.

The Home Minister said the third phase of this operation was started on November 27. After combing operations in this densely forested area, when the troops of 223 Battalion of the CRPF and 206 CoBRA battalion were returning to their camps, they were ambushed by Maoists near village Kasalpar.

This incident occurred at 10.30 AM on December 1. The troops retaliated and responded to the Maoists’ attack bravely. The encounter lasted for around three hours.

In this encounter, 14 CRPF personnel of 223 battalion have been martyred and 14 others were injured. As soon as this encounter started, other parties of CRPF which were present nearby rushed for reinforcement. Singh said the injured security forces personnel were brought to the base camp at Chintagufa and they were then sent to Jagdalpur and Raipur for further treatment. In this incident, the Maoists managed to take away the weapons and ammunition of the deceased jawans.

Yesterday, the martyred and injured security forces personnel were brought to Jagdalpur and Raipur by two MI -17 helicopters.

The deceased CRPF personnel are B S Verma, Rajesh Kapuria, Hemaraj Sharma, Panchu Ram, Kuldeep Punia, Umaji Pawar, K Ram Mohan, P L Manjhi, Mukesh Kumar, Gauri Shankar, Manish Singh, Radheshyam Ram, Safi Bhatt and Deepak Kumar.

“I offer my condolences to the security forces personnel who laid down their lives in this incident and express my deep sympathy to the aggrieved family members,” Singh added. –PTI