Chhattisgarh: Post-gun-battle between forces and Maoist, Amit Shah visits ground zero to assess the situation
On Monday, Union Minister Amit Shah visited Chhattisgarh to assess the situation and offer his condolences to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives in a fierce gun fight with Maoist on Saturday. Shah was accompanied by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to the wreath-laying ceremony of 14 security officials who died in a shootout at Bijapur’s Basaguda. The wreath-laying ceremony was held in Jagdalpur, post which the two leaders held a high-level meeting at the Jagdalpur circuit house
After the meeting, Shah told reporters, “It has been suggested by officials on ground that the pace of the fight against the Naxalites should not be slowed down in any way, which shows that the morale of our soldiers is intact. We are committed to take this fight against unrest to its conclusion.”
As per the reports, the fight between Maoists and security forces broke out on Saturday, in which 31 people were injured. On Sunday, the forces confirmed that 21 police personnels had died in the incident.
After Jagdalpur, the two leaders flew to Basaguda, the ground zero, which was about 250 km from Jagdalpur, in order to keep up the morale of the forces and to examine the situation. On his visit to Bijapur’s Basaguda, Baghel told the police personnels, “The ongoing battle against Naxalites will be fought with better strategy.”
Prior to the Chhattisgarh visit, both Shah and Baghel had been in Assam, campaigning for BJP ahead of the state assembly elections. As the news of the gunplay broke, Shah flew back to Delhi, whereas Baghel went back to Raipur on Sunday.
Sources said that the high causality rate of police personnels was due to a trap connived by Maoist fighters as the forces acted on inaccurate intelligence information, given out deliberately. The security officials were informed that Maoist leaders were present in the Jagargunda-Jonaguda-Tarrem belt. Though CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh denied it being a case of faulty intelligence or operational failure. Singh’s statement invited criticism from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who tweeted, “If there was no intelligence failure then a 1:1 death ratio means it was a poorly designed and incompetently executed operation”.