New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday stated that the Centre is fully committed to tackle left wing extremism (LWE), adding that the government has implemented a multi-pronged strategy to curb the menace.
"The Central Government is committed firmly to tackle LWE. For this purpose, the Central Government is implementing a multi -pronged strategy.
This includes implementation of security related measures, development related measures and ensuring rights and entitlements of tribals and other weaker sections of the society," Singh said, while speaking in both the Houses of Parliament on the operations being conducted by the state police and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the LWE affected states.
"As a result of the implementation of this strategy, the morale of the Maoists has weakened. The number of surrenders of Maoists cadres has increased substantially in the current year. The LWE violence has also been declining since 2011 and this trend continues in the current year also. It is our firm commitment to provide every possible assistance to the security forces and we will continue the operations till this problem is fully eradicated," he added.
Speaking more in detail of the operation, Singh said that almost 2,500 security personnel have participated in the manoeuvre.
"The state police and the CAPF have been conducting operations in the LWE affected states to effectively tackle the problem of Left Wing Extremism. On the basis of intelligence inputs about the movement of CPI(Maoist) cadres, CRPF launched a multi phased massive operation on November 16 in the Chintagufa area of Sukma District, Chhattisgarh," he said.
"In this operation, 2253 CRPF personnel and 224 State police personnel (a total of 2477 security forces personnel) participated," he added.
Giving details of the recent attack by Maoist forces on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, Singh said that the troops were returning from the third phase of their operation when they were ambushed.
"During the first and second phase of this operation on November 17 and 21, there had been several encounters between security forces and Maoists. During this multi phase operation, a few security forces personnel were injured who had been treated. The third phase of this operation was started on November 27. After combing operations in this densely forested area, when the troops of 223 Bn and 206 CoBRA Bn were returning to their camps, they were ambushed by Maoists near village Kasalpar on December 1," he said.
"The troops retaliated and responded to the Maoists` attack bravely. This encounter lasted for around 3 hours. In this encounter, 14 CRPF personnel of 223 Bn. have been martyred and 14 others were injured. As soon as this encounter started, other parties of CRPF which were present nearby rushed for reinforcement," he added.
The minister further said that the Maoist forces were able to abscond with weapons and ammunition.
"The injured security forces personnel were brought to the base camp at Chintagufa and they were then sent to Jagdalpur and Raipur for further treatment. In this incident, the Maoists managed to take away the weapons and ammunitions of the deceased jawans," he said.
"On Tuesday, the martyred and injured security forces personnel were brought to Jagdalpur and Raipur by two MI -17 helicopters," he added.
"I offer my condolences to the security forces personnel who laid down their lives in this incident and express my deep sympathy to the aggrieved family members," he further said.
An attack by Maoist forces on Monday left 14 CRPF personnel of the paramilitary unit dead, including two officers in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. The Maoist forces also used local villagers as a human shield against retaliatory fire.