To address the left-wing extremism from the worst affected district of the state, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Monday launched ‘Mission Sukma’ under which it suggests use of air power, targeting naxal leadership, continuous development works among others.
The Chief Minister also demanded changes in the structure of ‘unified command’ and allow district-level officers to take decisions on anti-maoist operations at their level during the review meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on anti-naxalism drive.
Raman Singh demanded changes in the present structure under which Chief Minister of the state takes strategic decisions during the meet of unified command on anti-maoists operations.
“Sukma is at the heart of maoists and a core area for the naxalites. We should start a mission with a clear aim to rid Sukma of this problem,” Raman Singh said.
He strongly advocated the use of aerial assistance to sustain the fight against the naxalites.
He said other main points of the mission should be:
targeting interior areas, hitting naxal leaders, occupying new areas, camping with aerial assistance, managing a strong hold on the ground, constructing roads with a view to eradicate naxalites and ensuring continuous development.
“During the period, when we cope up after any (naxal) incident, we keep the front open for naxals. This should change. We should keep air reinforcement capability ready so that naxals are also afraid of (getting) attacked,” he said.
Raman Singh said a record number of 135 naxals were killed last year.
“Earlier, the number of naxals killed used to be 30 per year on an average, whereas in 2016, this number was three times more than that of the security personnel martyred,” he said. He regreted casualty of security personnel.
As many as 41 jawans were killed in Chhattisgarh in 2016. However, there have been more casualty of security force personnel this year.
Also in the first three months, i.e, till March 2017, 32 naxals were killed.
“But the two big attacks on the road-opening battalions of security personnel have sent us on the back foot again. Chhattisgarh has again come in the news after the loss in naxal attacks of Bhejji in March, 2017 and of Burkapal in April 2017,” he said.
In the attack of Injram-Bhejji road, 12 CRPF jawans were killed while 25 personnel lost their lives in the attack of Dornapal-Jagargunda road in Burkapal.
“Naxals also took away a huge cache of arms. This has created a situation that naxals can do more harm by using these arms,” the CM said.
He said newly formed ‘Bastaria batallions’ will be a game-changer in the fight against Naxalism.
“Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has also selected 743 people from Bastar for Bastaria battalions. Five battalions of these locals will change the ground situation in Sukma and Beejapur (naxals-hit districts),” Raman Singh said.
He said it is important to keep the morale of jawans high. “Central armed force can consider on their continuous rotation so that their morale can be kept high.”
Raman Singh said continuous road construction work in the naxal-affected areas proves that the development exercise is going on in these areas.
“People are joining hands with the development and the root of naxals is moving away. Naxals carry out attacks out of frustration. Therefore we should not fear and close road opening battalions. Road construction should go on with full pace. We only need new perspective and new strategy,” he said.