In the wake of the deadly Naxal attack in the Sukma-Bijapur area in Chhattisgarh that claimed the lives of 22 security personnel, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has said that operations against Naxals would continue and the work of establishing camps in Naxal-affected areas would be completed in an expedited manner.
On Sunday while returning to Raipur from Assam where he had been campaigning for the ongoing Assembly elections, the Chief Minister at the airport inquired from senior administrative and police officials of the state about the police-Naxal encounter at Bijapur on Saturday.
The Chief Minister said, “our jawans were martyred in the fight, but they fought courageously. I bow to their martyrdom.”
The Chief Minister said that the security forces were highly motivated and determined to win the battle against Naxalites.
“They are fighting the Naxalites in their den. This naxal-police encounter has caused huge damage to the Naxalites in Bijapur. We have received information that the Naxalites had carried their dead and injured fellowmen in four tractors from the encounter site.” Baghel said.
He further said that the “battle” went on for four hours and security forces entered the Naxal-affected areas and fought valiantly.
He said that the influence of Naxalites in Chhattisgarh was shrinking rapidly, and is now confined to a very limited area in the state. Subsequently, they are panicking and trying make their presence felt through such violent incidents. He said that there is continuous work to establish police camps in Naxal-affected areas and the work would continue in future as well, he added.
The Chief Minister said: “About 2000 soldiers were sent to install camps in an area which is Naxal bastion. This would restrict their movement, hence they (Naxals) were frustrated. There was no intelligence failure. We’ll surely install camps there. My condolences to bereaved families.”
At least 22 security personal have lost their lives in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur Naxal attack on Saturday.
“22 security personnel have lost their lives in the Naxal attack at Sukma-Bijapur in Chhattisgarh,” said Bijapur Superintendent of Police, Kamalochan Kashyap.
Around 31 sustained injuries in the encounter in Bijapur on Saturday, Chhattisgarh Police said.
Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Kuldiep Singh, who is in Chhattisgarh to monitor the situation following the Naxal attack, on Sunday said that there was absolutely no intelligence or operational failure in the operation.
Singh informed that around 25-30 Naxals were also killed though the exact number is yet to be ascertained.
“There is no point in saying that there was some kind of intelligence or operational failure. Had it been some intelligence failure, forces would have not gone for the operation. And if there was some operational failure, so many Naxals would have not been killed,” DG CRPF told ANI.
Speaking on casualties of Naxals in the encounter, the DG said, “Three tractors were used by Naxals to carry injured and dead bodies of Naxals from the site. It is tough to say right now the exact number of Naxals killed in the operation but it should not be less than 25-30,” he added.