Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has asked the central government not to withdraw the paramilitary forces from the state's Maoist-affected Balaghat district, warning it could lead to the rebels' resurgence in the area, official sources said on Sunday.
In a letter sent to Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday, Chouhan said Balaghat district abutted the "Red Corridor" bordered by the Maoist-affected Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon and Maharashtra's Gondia districts.
The central home ministry had on Thursday informed the state government about the withdrawal of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion from the district.
In his letter, Chouhan said: "Balaghat is inhabited by the Baiga and Gond tribes who have been intimidated to accommodate the movement of Tanda and Malajkhand Dalams of the Communist Party of India-Maoist. During the last Lok Sabha polls, Balaghat police foiled an attempt by Naxalites (Maoists) to carry out blasts and also arrested over a dozen active ultras during the last couple of years which has reduced their overt operations, but their covert activities continue as before," he said.
Stressing the CRPF troopers were needed for area domination, searches and for deterrence, Chouhan said their proposed withdrawal would create a vacuum which may enable resurgence of Maoist domination and provide a sanctuary for rebels from neighbouring states.