Shah revisits strategy to wipe out Maoists from their jungle redoubts

Union Home Minister Amit Shah presided over a key meeting, along with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, with top security officials on Monday and revisited the strategy to eliminate armed Maoists who are orchestrating a series of deadly attacks on troopers in the jungles of the sprawling, tribal-dominated Bastar region.

Shah landed in Jagdalpur, the headquarters of restive Bastar division, on Monday morning and then went in huddle with Baghel and top security officials to review the security scenario in Chhattisgarh in wake of a deadly Maoist attack at a remote hilly patch on a 1,000-plus securitymen contingent in Bijapur.

The brutal killings of 22 jawans has created a widespread anger in the country and clamour has grown in Chhattisgarh that the Central government must go in for a decisive operation against the Maoists who are attempting to run a de facto government in deep forests of Bastar division since the late 1980s.

Sources say that Shah and Baghel were of the view that time has come to set up more paramilitary camps in core areas of Maoists and smoke them out from their forested hideouts from where they have been launching major attacks on forces.

“Now, we have decided to set up more camps in their (Maoists) bastions and launch regular search and combing operations, now people will see the results soon… Maoists will be eliminated, their days are numbered,” remarked a senior Chhattisgarh Police officer who was in the meeting.

He added that the Central and the state government would spend more funds to develop road infrastructure and other facilities in deep jungles of Bastar including Bijapur and Sukma to allow forces to reach to Maoists hideouts easily.

Shah visited a CRPF camp at Bijapur’s Basaguda with Baghel where he interacted freely with jawans and assured them that the Indian government was determined to put an end to Maoist militancy forever. Security personnel at the camp informed Shah that forces have been regularly combing jungle areas which were early described as “no-go-areas” and Maoists are now carrying out attacks only to save some of their last citadels.

Shah also laid wreath on mortal remains of martyred jawans at Jagdalpur police line and later met injured personnel at private hospitals in Raipur with a clear message that India would never tolerate such attacks.