Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived in Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation a day after the worst Naxal attack, on Tuesday said that the Naxal violence is a national problem and it will be dealt with sternly.
“Naxal violence is a national problem and both the Centre and state govt will jointly fight this menace,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Singh also announced compensation of Rs. 38 lakh each to the kin of 14 CRPF jawans killed in Naxal ambush in Chhattisgarh.
Earlier during a review meeting here, the Home Minister asked security forces to continue operations against the banned ultras. Rajnath had said on Monday that he was waiting for a detailed report and would fly to Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.
Calling it an act of cowardice and a “dastardly act” of violence, the minister said in Lucknow, “The Naxals have carried out the attack by putting innocent villagers as human shields.”
Meanwhile, a day after the dastardly attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, it emerged that the ultras had not just targeted the paramilitary troopers but also looted their weapons.
Sources also claimed that after the attack, the rebels took away a large number of weapons and equipments from the slain CRPF troopers which included one SLR, one machine gun, 10 AK-47 rifles, one VHF set, binoculars and jackets.
In a report sent to the Union Home Ministry, CRPF has expressed apprehension that Naxals may use the looted weapons to carry out another strike.
Intelligence agencies, too, are reported to have expressed similar apprehension.
Using human shields, Maoists unleashed a major attack killing 14 CRPF personnel, including two officers, and injuring 12 others. This was the second ambush on the force in 10 days in the same area in Naxal-infested Sukma district.
The attack took place when CRPF personnel were returning to their camp. This was the biggest Maoist strike on the paramilitary force in the state this year. On March 11, eleven CRPF men were among 15 people killed in a Maoist attack in Sukma district.
“As per latest reports, 14 CRPF men were killed and another 12 have been injured,” said Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the attack.
“Words are not enough to condemn the brutal and inhuman attack by anti-national elements in Sukma,” Modi tweeted.
As per details available, a joint squad of CRPF, its elite battalion-CoBRA (Compact Battalion for Resolute Action) and district force was attacked by a large group of armed rebels in the dense forests in insurgency-hit South Bastar when they were returning to their camp after combing and area domination operations over several days in the Chintagufa region, about 450 km from here, a senior police official said.