Several political leaders have condemned the major Maoist attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur in which 23 personnel were killed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan were some of the top leaders to condemn the attack on CRPF soldiers. Condoling the death of security personnel, Modi on Saturday said their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
“My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest,” Modi said in a tweet.
Shah on Sunday cut short his electioneering in Assam and is returning to Delhi in the wake of killing of security personnel by Naxals in Chhattisgarh, officials said. A Home Ministry official said Shah is returning to the national capital and may hold a meeting with senior officials of the ministry to review the situation in Chhattisgarh. Shah on Sunday condoled the death of the security personnel and said their valour will never be forgotten.
Shah also said that the government will continue its fight against such enemies of peace and progress.
“I bow to the sacrifices of our brave security personnel martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Nation will never forget their valour. My condolences are with their families. We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress. May injured recover soon,” he said in a tweet. Shah on Sunday said a befitting response will be given to those responsible for the Naxal attack in Chhatisgarh at an appropriate time. He also said search operations are continuing in Chhattisgarh following the encounter.
“As far as the numbers are concerned, both sides have suffered losses and exact casualty figures cannot be ascertained immediately”, Shah said, after cutting short his election campaigning in Assam.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said all are united in the resolve to combat naxalism and her party’s government in Chhattisgarh will continue to provide all assistance to the paramilitary forces in fighting the menace with full rigour. In a statement, she said the entire country bows before the martyrdom of jawans killed in the gruesome attack.
“I pay homage to these jawans who have given their lives, and heartfelt condolences to their families. The nation owes an enormous debt of gratitude to them.
“I fervently hope for the return of our missing soldiers, and look forward to the complete recovery of those injured,” Gandhi said.
“We are united in our resolve to combat naxalism. The Chhattisgarh Congress government shall continue to provide all assistance to our central paramilitary forces in fighting naxalism with full rigour,” she added.
Kerala CM Vijayan condoled the death of the soldiers in the attack and said, “Condemn the Maoist attack on security personnel
in Chhattisgarh, unequivocally. There can be no space for armed rebellion in a democracy.” Violence should be shed, democratic and peaceful means shouldbe upheld to strengthenour democracy, he added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condoled the death of security personnel and prayed for the recovery of injured and safe return of those still missing. “My homage to the immortal martyrdom of the country’s jawans in Naxal attack in Chhatisgarh. I wish speedy recovery of the jawans injured in the attack. The search operation by our security forces for missing jawans is underway. I pray to the God for their safe return,” Kejriwal said.
A group of an estimated 400 Maoists had ambushed security personnel who were part of a large contingent deployed for a special operation, leading to the killing of 23 personnel and injuries to 30 others, official sources said on Sunday.
They said the contingent of about 1,500 troops drawn from CRPF’S specialised jungle warfare unit CoBRA, some teams from its regular battalions, a unit of its Bastariya battalion, the Chhattisgarh Police affiliated District Reserve Guard (DRG) and others had launched a search and destroy operation along the border of Bijapur-Sukma district around noon after they got inputs of some Maoists presence in the area. At least 400 Naxals, an officer said, led by the most wanted Maoist commander and leader of the so-called ‘People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army(PLGA) battalion no 1’– Hidma– and his associate Sujatha are suspected to be behind the Saturday ambush that took place in an area that is a strong-hold of the ultras due to the difficult terrain, large tracts of forests and less number of security forces camps.
(With inputs from PTI)