RAIPUR: The fight against ultras will be intensified to end the Naxal menace, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday as he took stock of the situation in the aftermath of the killing 22 security personnel in an attack by the rebels in Chhattisgarh.
Talking to reporters after chairing a high-level meeting here on the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) situation, Shah said the sacrifices of the security personnel will always be remembered for taking this battle to a “decisive turn”.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, senior officials of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were present in the meeting.
Thirty-one security personnel were also injured in the gun-battle with Naxals between Jonaguda and Tekalguda villages along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts in the Bastar region on Saturday.
Out of the total 22 fatalities, the CRPF lost eight men, including seven commandos of the CoBRA (CRPF’s elite unit) and one jawan of the Bastariya battalion, eight of the other deceased were from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and six from the Special Task Force (STF).
One jawan is still missing, officials said.
“I want to assure the country that this fight will not be stopped, rather it will continue with more intensity till the end.
In this fight, our victory is definite in the end,” Shah said.
The Union minister said he paid tributes to the martyred personnel on behalf of the country, the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Their supreme sacrifices will not go in vain.
The country will always remember their sacrifice for taking this battle to a “decisive turn”, he said.
“In the last few years, the fight against Naxals has reached a decisive turn and this unfortunate incident has taken the fight two steps ahead,” he said.
Shah said during the review meeting with the chief minister and personnel of various security forces, officials themselves suggested that the intensity of this fight should not be hampered, which shows the morale of the forces is intact and high, he said.
Shah said in the last five-six years, they have achieved success in setting up camps of security forces in the interior areas.
“Both the central and state governments have been jointly making inroads (into Maoist strongholds). Therefore, such incidents come to fore out of their (Maoists) frustration,” he said.
On the development front also, several works have been done, though due to the coronavirus their pace got slowed down a little, he said.
“But, I believe that action is being taken on all the suggestions received from tribal public representatives, chief minister and MPs from the state,” Shah said.
He said the central and state governments have been working on both fronts – to expedite the development works in tribal areas and to intensify action against the extremists.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already fixed the priority- to take this fight (against Naxals) to a logical end, he said.
Shah further said he wanted to assure the people of Chhattisgarh and the country that after Saturday’s incident, the fight against Naxals will be intensified and will definitely be converted into a victory.
Earlier, Shah attended the wreath-laying ceremony here to pay homage to the security personnel who lost their lives in the Naxal attack.
It is Shah’s first visit to the Bastar region after assuming the charge of Union home minister, an official said.
Shah is also scheduled to visit Basaguda camp of the CRPF in Bijapur where he will have an interaction and lunch with the CRPF and state police personnel there, he said.
He will later go to Raipur and visit three hospitals where the injured personnel are admitted.
Shah will leave for Delhi at 5.30 pm on Monday.