Naxal-affected areas witnessing rapid development: Rajnath Singh

Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh) [India], May 21 (ANI): Attending the Commissioning of the maiden Bastariya Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force, in Chhattisgarh's Ambika, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that currently, 52 battalions of Central Armed Police Force are deployed in Chhattisgarh. The Home Minister said that 135 Naxalites were killed in 2016 and 77 in 2017 and 40 Naxalites so far in this year. He also said that the numbers have only increased, along with the numbers of surrenders. "The government will take action to stop their funds and to seize their properties," the Home Minister assured. "Today we have seen the courage and enthusiasm of the Bastaria battalion. Naxalites are against development, they want poverty in their area of influence. The Chhattisgarh government and other states affected by the problem are also running a fast campaign to eradicate Naxalism," Rajnath Singh added. "Most of the soldiers have been martyred in IED blasts, a result of the cowardice of the Naxals. The Naxalites are fighting a losing battle." A new special force called Black Panther is also being established along the lines of Grey Hounds - a force that specialises in anti-insurgency operations against Naxals. The Home Minister said that they are currently undergoing proper training. He also said that developmental work is going on rapidly in Naxal affected areas and that 115 districts have been identified, out of which 35 are Naxal affected. The Home Minister also praised the CRPF for an improved situation of internal security, which he said was only possible because of the coordination of the CRPF, with the state police. He added that the Government of India conceived the idea of raising the Bastariya Battalion having learned about the courage, and honesty of the tribal brethren of Bastar. (ANI)
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