Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday chaired a meeting with chief ministers of 10 Naxal affected states after the Sukma attack in Chhattisgarh that left 25 CRPF personnel dead. Chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal are expected to be in attendance.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the meeting, Rajnath Singh said that extremists will never succeed in suppressing democracy. He emphasised on finding mechanisms of detecting these incidents before they happen.
“Should we react only after the attack? We should be proactive. We should have aggression in our thoughts, development, security, infrastructure development,” he said, while talking to the media. He said the whole country was angry about the Sukma attack.
“As many as 12,000 people lost their lives due to Maoist violence in last 20 years,” he said, adding, “I am confident that we will successfully confront the Naxalites with full force and new strategy.”
He further said, “Foundation principle of fighting the Left-Wing Extremism is through financial choking. I am sure that attempts to stall development and to throttle democracy at gunpoint will not be successful ever. There is need to depute shadow intelligence officers to track prominent targets associated with Left Wing Extremism (LWE),” Singh said.
An official brief released prior to the meeting detailed that the meeting will take a holistic review of the situation. Issues of covering security and developing, focusing especially on infrastructure building will be discussed.
Singh said, “Naxal problem can’t be resolved through #silverbullets or any shortcut but through short-term,medium-term,long-term solutions.”
An official from the Home Ministry said that the meeting is also expected to discuss ways of improving the intelligence gathering mechanism, closely assess the current operations against the Naxals, identify all areas that could potentially create a problem and finally, devise mechanisms to have minimum casualties among the security forces engaged in these areas.
“I am sure that attempts to stall development and to throttle democracy at gunpoint will not be successful ever,” he said.
Apart from the chief ministers, District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of 35 worst-hit districts will be a part of the meeting. Heads of paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies will also be present.
The Sukma attack had killed 25 CRPF jawans from the Burkapal camp of the CRPF 74 Battalion while they were trying to secure an under-construction road in south Sukma. According to accounts given by officers of the Sukma attack, 76 jawans left the CRPF’s Burkapal camp at 6 am in order to secure the road and under-construction bridge on the crucial link between Dornapal on NH 30 and Jagargunda, a length of 56 km. While on their way back at 12.55 pm, they came under a hail of fire from a massive, planned ambush, in an area considered a Maoist stronghold. The stretch where the attack took place is a crucial under-construction roads in south Sukma.