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CRPF off Bastar beat: Police

india Updated: Apr 12, 2010 23:48 IST
Ejaz Kaiser

A week after Maoist guerrillas massacred 76 security personnel in the Chintalnar forests of Dantewada, the Chhattisgarh police claimed that while it continued its operations in Bastar, the CRPF support was missing.

“The CRPF men are in a state of shock. They seem to have suspended the operations for now,” a top police official said.

The CRPF, however, refuted the claim. CRPF special DG Vijay Raman declared, “Our operation is on and there is no question of halting it."

He said since an inquiry into the incident is on, the focus might have shifted for the moment. “But it is wrong to say that the CRPF has stopped the anti-Naxal drive.”

Raman said, “We'll continue to go ahead and carry out the operations as and when we receive intelligence inputs.”

Top state police officials, however, informed that CRPF personnel preferred to stay in the camps and had stopped going to the forests. "We hope it's a temporary phenomenon," a senior state police officer said.

Of the 14 CRPF battalions sent to Chhattisgarh, 13 have been deployed in Bastar (south Chhattisgarh). Sources said the CRPF had instituted an inquiry to probe the number of weapons looted by the Maoists after the massacre at Chintalnar, about 600 km south of state capital Raipur. The inquiry team will submit its report in two days.

On Monday, defying the warnings issued by security agencies, Chief Minister Raman Singh launched a two-phase Gram Suraj Abhiyaan — a good governance campaign to ensure the reach of the government in remote villages – in Dantewada. The campaign will continue till April 23.

The CM reviewed development and social welfare plans underway in these areas and hiked the honorarium of special police officers from Rs 2,150 to Rs 3,000 a month.