Paramilitary forces avoid Holi celebrations as a tribute to 12 CRPF jawans who died in Sukma Maoist attack

Devyani Sultania
Two DRG personnel injured in Naxal encounter in Chhattisgarh; airlifted by IAF

Paramilitary forces personnel across the country decided not to play Holi on Monday as a sign of tribute to the 12 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans who lost their lives in a Maoist attack in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday, March 11. The CRPF is India's largest paramilitary force.

The CRPF had issued orders that no "regimental function related to Holi celebrations" would be observed at any field formation. Sister forces like the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Services Selection Board (SSB), also showed solidarity with the decision.

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"DG (Director General) expresses deepest gratitude to all Patriots for standing shldr2shldr with #ShaheedsOfSukma. Call Of Duty only religion for CRPF (sic)," the CRPF posted on Twitter. The CRPF also said that they decided not to celebrate the festival of colours to express "solidarity" with the family members of the deceased soldiers and that the orders are to be followed by the "entire force in letter and spirit."

The ITBP said, "Tributes to the brave martyrs of @crpfindia who made supreme sacrifice in Sukma. No Holi celebration by #ITBP." The CISF also took to Twitter and said: "CISF Salutes to the Martyrs of CRPF @Sukma...Prayers for the CRPF Martyrs n their families #R.I.P.#No Holi Celebrations@CISF (sic)."

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he would not celebrate Holi as a mark of tribute to the deceased soldiers. At least CRPF 12 jawans were killed, while four others got injured in a Maoist attack in the Sukma district of Chattisgarh on Saturday. Singh visited Raipur to meet the injured CRPF personnel.

The deceased jawans were cremated at their native places on Sunday with full state honours. Senior Security Advisor K Vijay Kumar and acting CRPF Director General Sudeep Lakhtakia led a team of senior Home Ministry officials to the site of the attack on Saturday.

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