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No let up in operations to tackle Maoist menace, says Centre

December 03, 2014 15:54 IST

Two days after Naxals struck in a big way in Chhattisgarh, the government on Wednesday asserted that there will be no let up in operations to eliminate the 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 Central Reserve Police Force 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, which 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 Centre was committed to tackling the Maoist 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 Centre is committed to tackle the rise of left wing extremism. It is our firm commitment to provide all 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 on Tuesday 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 Centre 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.

Providing details about Monday's incident, the home minister said the state police and the CAPF’s have been conducting operations in the LWE affected states to effectively tackle the problem.

On the basis of intelligence reports about movements of the CPI (Maoist) cadres, the CRPF launched a massive multi-phase 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 the 206 CoBRA battalion were returning to their camps, they were ambushed by Maoists near Kasalpar village.

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 battalion 223 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.

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

"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. 

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