CRPF launches massive operation in Sukma to flush out Maoists

Rajnath Singh said the attack on CRPF in the Sukma forests was an outcome of desperation among the Maoists as they had suffered unprecedented losses last year


A file photo of Union home minister Rajnath Singh. Photo: HT
A file photo of Union home minister Rajnath Singh. Photo: HT

New Delhi/Bastar: Three days after 12 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, security personnel have launched a massive offensive in the region to flush out rebels from the region.

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday stated that the Naxals were acting out of desperation and asked the director general (DG) of CRPF to launch an inquiry into the killings to prevent similar attacks in future.

This is the second big attack on the CRPF after a vehicle carrying officers of the CRPF hit a pressure landmine in Dantewada district in March last year killing seven jawans. The latest attack by the Naxals comes nearly three weeks after seven of them were killed by the police in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur area on 22 February.

“We have launched major combing operations in the entire region of Sukma and adjoining areas. We have launched operations based on tip-offs and suspicion that there are still some Naxal groups hiding in the forests in the region. If there is any Maoist presence that we find here, we will eliminate them on the spot,” said Dinesh Pratap Upadhyay, deputy inspector general (DIG) of CRPF, Dantewada.

At 9:10am on Saturday, 12 jawans of the CRPF’s 219 Battalion were killed and two critically injured in Sukma after a group of the Naxals ambushed a road opening party in the area’s Bheji village.

Minister of state for home affairs, Hansraj Ahir, informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that although the government had made significant headway in the areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), the Centre was willing to hold talks with the Maoist cadres, if the latter agreed to give up arms.

“Security Forces have been conducting intelligence based operations against Left Wing Extremists which has resulted in reduction of violence and increased apprehensions and surrenders of armed cadres. The Centre will consider engaging in talks with LWE groups only if they renounce violence and express faith in the democratic process,” Ahir stated.

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