Within the wake of the lethal Maoist assault in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar area that claimed the lives of 22 safety personnel, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday mentioned the morale of jawans is excessive and the operation in opposition to Naxals will proceed. Speaking to reporters this night at Raipur airport after getting back from Assam, Baghel mentioned that Maoists are preventing their final battle now and they are going to be eradicated very quickly. He added that the work of establishing camps of safety forces within the Naxal stronghold areas within the state might be expedited.
“Morale of our safety forces is excessive and they’re giving a robust battle to Naxals of their den. In Saturday’s encounter, Naxals have suffered an enormous loss,” Baghel, who had been campaigning in Assam for the continuing Meeting election earlier than returning to Chhattisgarh, mentioned.
“The world the place the skirmish passed off is taken into account a bastion of Naxals and we had deliberate to arrange a camp of safety forces there and subsequently, they (Maoists) have been annoyed,” he added.
He additional mentioned the incident was not simply an encounter however will be termed as a ‘yuddh’ (struggle) that lasted for about 4 hours.
“From each side, heavy alternate of fireside passed off whereas grenades and rocket launchers have been additionally used. Our jawans bought martyred, however they fought bravely and on the identical time evacuated their injured and martyred colleagues from the spot,” he mentioned.
“We’ve additionally bought data that Naxals had ferried their killed and injured cadres in 4 tractors from the encounter web site. It may be assessed from the knowledge that safety forces have inflicted a heavy blow on them,” he added.
When requested whether or not any lapses on the a part of the safety forces led to the incident, Baghel denied it saying, “It was not an assault on (police) camp…We had gone there to nook them. We’ve been repeatedly establishing camps and making inroads into the Maoist bastions from three sides Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur (south Bastar).”
Naxals have been shedding their floor and have been pushed into an space of 40X40 sq km. Out of frustration, they’re committing such acts to point out their presence, he added.
“We had deliberate to arrange two camps within the space (alongside the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts) this month and we’ll do it. These strategically necessary camps will assist the safety forces in blocking Maoists’ path to Maad space (a Maoist stronghold),” he mentioned.
Our operation (in opposition to Naxals) might be continued and extra camps of safety forces might be arrange. The sacrifice of jawans won’t go in useless. Street connectivity can even be expanded within the area and facilities might be supplied to the native public, he added.
Hailing the coordination between the central and state forces within the battle in opposition to Naxals, Baghel mentioned, “Maoists have been preventing their final battle and really quickly they are going to be eradicated.”
After his arrival, the chief minister took inventory of the incident from senior administrative and police officers, a authorities official mentioned.
Later, Baghel went to Ramkrishna Care hospital, the place injured jawans are admitted, and enquired about their situation, he added.
Twenty-two safety personnel have been killed and 31 others injured within the gunfight that passed off between Jonaguda and Tekalguda villages alongside the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts on Saturday afternoon. One jawan remains to be lacking following the gunfight.
In the meantime, the opposition BJP hit out on the chief minister and mentioned he ought to perceive that Naxalism is a much bigger problem than the election in Assam.
“Your entire state is mourning the martyrdom of the safety personnel however the CM was busy in electioneering in Assam. What will be extra unlucky than this,” senior BJP chief Dharamlal Kaushik mentioned.
“Naxalism is a much bigger problem than the election. The irresponsible perspective of the state authorities has proved that it has no concern for individuals of the state,” the Chief of Opposition mentioned.
(With PTI inputs)