Gurgaon: Making it clear that violence has no place in a democracy and that the killing of innocents leads to nowhere, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asked the Naxals to abjure violence and join the mainstream.
Addressing the 75th raising day of CRPF, Singh said that Mao Zedong's ideology, which is being followed by the CPI (Maoist) in India, is forgotten even in China, the country where he had founded the Communist state.
"But here (in India) you (Naxals) are killing your innocent countrymen by following that ideology. I would like to appeal to the Naxals to shun violence."
"Our democratic values are very strong. I would like to ask them to change the power through democracy and not by guns," he said after taking the salute at an impressive parade by CRPF personnel.
Thirty-eight percent of CRPF's troops are deployed in the Left-Wing Extremism theatre, the Home Minister said even as he noted that the country's largest paramilitary force is engaged in many critical areas and that around 80 percent of its personnel work in high-risk zones.
CRPF not only plays an active role in facing internal security challenges but also provides cover during General Elections and hence can be termed 'loktantra ke prahri' (soldier of democracy), said Singh.
Remembering the supreme sacrifice made by CRPF jawans in different theatres of operation, Singh said the government recognises the contribution of the force. He also said that government is sensitive to the needs of the paramilitary forces.
"I know CRPF is also fighting proxy war launched against the country and it is very difficult to fight such a war," he said.
The Home Minister recalled his visit to Saranda jungle in Jharkhand and said that CRPF deserves credit for its ability to work in adverse conditions.
"CRPF works in very hostile conditions but it always completes its assigned task. It has given many an 'agnipareeksha' and I can proudly say it has succeeded in all," he said.
Singh said that top CRPF officers should undertake more tours of their field formations and stand shoulder-to- shoulder with their personnel.