The government will review its strategy to battle Naxalites, Home minister Rajnath Singh said today, a day after armed guerrillas killed 25 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh. A meeting of all Naxal-hit states will be held on May 8 to look at ways of rooting out Left Wing Extremism (LWE), Singh said. “We will review the strategy and if necessary we will revisit it,” he told reporters after paying homage to the CRPF personnel killed in yesterday’s ambush in Sukma district.
“We are working to root out the problem of Left Wing extremism,” he stressed. Singh said the attack was a cold blooded murder and an act of cowardice and desperation. “We have accepted it as a challenge,” he said. The minister said the LWE groups were anti-development and sought to destabilise development in the state. The Home minister added Maoists were using tribals as fodder.
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“They are being used as human shields,” he said. “The sacrifice of our brave jawans will not go in vain. The Naxals are frustrated with the development of roads in Bastar region. But they will not succeed in their evil designs,” he said. Singh asserted that the Centre and the state would work together to take the Naxals on.
The Home minister, who arrived here this morning, first visited the headquarters of the 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the Mana camp where a wreath- laying ceremony was held. Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon, Chief Minister Raman Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir and senior state and paramilitary officials were present on the occasion.
He later attended a meeting with the chief minister and senior officers. The nearly 100-strong CRPF patrol providing security for road construction work in Sukma came under fierce gunfire from Maoist guerrillas occupying vantage positions. The Naxalites mounted the assault on the CRPF men in the Kalapathar area of south Bastar, which has been in the grip of Left-wing extremism.