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‘Govt will revise strategy to fight Maoists’: Rajnath accepts challenge after 25 CRPF men killed in Sukma

The midday attack, which occurred between the Burkapal-Chintagufa area in the Maoist hotbed of Bastar, is the worst in seven years. In 2010, rebels killed 75 CRPF troopers in the same region.

india Updated: May 10, 2017 10:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajnath Singh,Maoist,Sukma Ambush
Union home minister Rajnath Singh enquires about the health of injured CRPF personnel at the Ramkrishna Care Hospital in Raipur ,on Tuesday. (PTI)

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday termed the deadly Maoist attack on CRPF personnel in Chattisgarh “cold blooded murder”, saying the government has accepted the challenge and it will take strong action.

At least 25 soldiers died a day ago after a nearly 100-strong patrol party was ambushed in Sukma, considered among India’s worst insurgency-hit regions.

Singh, who visited Raipur to take stock of the situation, said the government will review its strategy to combat Maoist militancy and deploy more senior officers in the region.

“It is an act of desperation. We have accepted it as a challenge. We will review the strategy and if necessary we will revisit it,” his ministry tweeted.

Speaking to reporters in Raipur, the minister called the midday ambush of CRPF personnel a “desperate attempt” to block development and said the government had taken the strike as a challenge.

“The naxals (Maoists) won’t succeed…we will revise and renew our strategy at a meeting on May 8,” he said. “The Centre and state governments will together work and take action.”

He paid homage to deceased CRPF personnel at a wreath-laying ceremony at the headquarters of the 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the Mana camp area.

Chhattisgarh governor Balramji Das Tandon, chief minister Raman Singh, Union minister of state for home affairs Hansraj Ahir and senior state and paramilitary officials were also present at the ceremony.

The home minister said Maoists were the “biggest enemies” of tribal and poor people in the area and were against any development.

“But they will not succeed in their evil designs,” he said, asserting that the Centre and the state would work together to fight them.

Maoist attacks: 2007-2017
March 12: 12 CRPF jawans were killed in a Maoist attack in insurgency-hit Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.
January 29: One CRPF jawan was killed in an explosion of a pressure bomb allegedly planted by Naxals in Sukma.
March 31: Seven policemen were killed in a powerful landmine blast in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district.
March 11: 15 security personnel were killed in a Maoist attack in Sukma district.
May 25: 25 Congress leaders were killed, including former state minister Mahendra Karma, in an attack in Chhattisgarh’s Darbha valley.
June 29: 26 CRPF jawans were killed in a Maoist ambush attack in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.
April 6: Maoists killed 75 CRPF personnel and a state police official in an attack on a convoy of security forces in Chh attisgarh’s Dantewada district.
February 15: 24 personnel of the Eastern Frontier Rifles were shot dead by Maoists when they attacked their camp in Sealdah in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.
October 8: A Maoists attack on Laheri police station in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district killed 17 policemen.
May 22: 16 cops were killed in an attack by Maoists in the jungles of Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.
July 16: Naxals killed 21 policemen in Odisha’s Malkangiri district after they blew up a police van with a landmine.
June 29: 38 troops were killed in Odisha’s Balimela reservoir when Maoists carried out an attack on a boat carrying four police officials and 60 greyhound commandoes.
October 27: Former Jharkand CM Babulal Marandi’s son Anup and 17 others were killed in a Naxal attack in Giridh district of Jharkhand.
March 15: 55 policemen were killed in their sleep when more than 500 Naxals attacked a police outpost in Chhattisgarh’s Rani Bodi village.

Chhattisgarh CM Singh too called the attack “condemnable” and said development work as well as anti-Maoist operations will continue unabated.

“We will increase our development activities as well as strengthen our operation,” he said.

Monday’s attack, which occurred between the Burkapal-Chintagufa area in the Maoist hotbed of Bastar, is the worst in seven years. In 2010, rebels killed 75 CRPF troopers in the same region. Monday’s victims were part of a 99-strong team providing security to workers building the road.

On March 11, suspected Maoist rebels ambushed a similar CRPF road opening party and killed at least 12 troopers in Sukma.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Apr 25, 2017 12:29 IST