Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed the Maoist ambush on the CRPF patrol in Sukma on Monday that led to the death of 25 jawans a 'cold blooded murder.'
He told reporters in Raipur on Tuesday that it was an act of cowardice and that the sacrifice of the CRPF personnel will not go in vain.
“Centre and the state government will work together and take action. This is an act of desperation,” Singh said while seated alongside chief minister Raman Singh.
The minister confirmed that the Centre has decided to revise the Left-wing extremism (LWE) strategy if need be. Separately, a meeting of officials of various state governments has been called on May 8.
“We will review the strategy and if necessary we will revisit it. We are working to root out the problem of Left Wing extremism,” he said.
Meanwhile, The President Pranab Mukherjee has strongly condemnedthe attack in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh in which a number of CRPF personnel lost their lives and several are injured.
In a tweet, the President said ‘Strongly condemn attack on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh; condolences to families of deceased & prayers for injured’.
The President has also written to Balramji Dass Tandon, the Governor of Chhattisgarh. In his message, the President has said “I am distressed to learn about the attack in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh in which a number of CRPF personnel lost their lives and several are injured.
In this moment of grief, I offer my profound condolences to the families of the CRPF jawans who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. May the Almighty give them the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.
I am sure the State Government and other concerned agencies aretaking necessary measuresto assist the bereaved families and provide medical assistance to the injured. Please keep me informed of developments in the above regard”.
Rajnath, Raman and MoS Hansraj Ahir paid tributes to the 25 CRPF jawans at a wreath-laying ceremony at the headquarters of the 4th battalion of Chhattisgarh Armed Force in Mana camp area.
Rajnath also held a meeting with the chief minister and other senior officials of the state. He met the injured personnel at the Ramkrishna Care Hospital.
The attack in Sukma was the deadliest on security forces since 2010 and follows a similar ambush in March in which 13 CRPF personnel were killed.
The personnel, all from the 74th Battalion, came under the ambush when they came out of their camp to secure an under-construction road in south Sukma. In 2010, a Maoist attack in Sukma had claimed the lives of 76 CRPF men.
Those killed at the spot on Monday in Sukma were Inspector Raghubir Singh, sub-inspector KK Das, three assistant sub-inspectors, five head constables and fourteen constables.How CRPF jawans walked into 'kill zone' set up by Naxals
It took the Naxals just 20-25 minutes to kill 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans in Chhattisgarh's densely forested area of Sukma on Monday afternoon. Some 300 Naxals outnumbered the CRPF men and laid an elaborate trap luring the security men into it.
The CRPF soldiers killed in the ambush were deployed to provide security for the road construction work inside the Naxal infested region. The 100-strong CRPF team was divided into two smaller groups. The two teams were just 500m away from the actual road construction site when the Maoists struck giving the jawans little time to react and respond.HOW THE SUKMA NAXAL ATTACK UNFOLDED
- At about 8am on Monday (April, 24), the Road Opening Party (ROP) of 74 Battalian of CRPF starts for the construction site located between Chintagufa and Jagargunda.
- The CRPF team, divided into two groups, decide to leave their vehicles and walk up to the construction site in order to avoid landmines put by the Maoists.
- The security teams came across a group of villagers, mostly women and children, near to the construction site. Reports later suggested that the Maoists had used the villagers as human shield to confirm the location of the CRPF men.
- At about 12.40 pm, some 500m ahead of the road construction site, the Naxals struck. They opened fire on the two CRPF teams from all sides which took the jawans by surprise completely. Naxals stationed themselves on small hillocks and used heavy firepower to inflict maximum damage.
- As soon as the CRPF jawans walked into the 'kill zone' of ambush, Maoists started indiscriminate firing using improvised Under Barrel Grenade launchers mounted on SLR and INSAS rifles.
- CRPF jawans responded to the heavy firing by Maoists. However, the insurgents were able to dodge the retaliatory firing as they used vantage positions to target the securitymen. The ambush last for 20-25 minutes. Most of the CRPF men died on the spot.
- After the firing stopped, the Maoists emerged from the forest to take away arms, ammunition and other safety equipments of the CRPF men.
- The Naxals took away bullet proof jackets, wireless sets and a total of 22 weapons, including AK series assault rifles and grenade launchers.
- The ambush site is 67km from district headquarters Sukma. The administration later summoned the Indian Air Force (IAF) to airlift the bodies and injured CRPF men from the attack site to Chhattisgarh capital Raipur.