Process of setting up security camps in remote areas to be speeded up: CRPF DG after Naxal attack

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Raipur, Apr 4 (PTI) Maoists are 'frustrated' because security camps have been set up in remote areas of Chhattisgarh and this process will be speeded up now to launch more serious operations against them, CRPF Director General Kuldiep Singh said here on Sunday after at least 22 security personnel were killed in fresh bloodletting.

The Central Reserve Police Force chief, who arrived in the state capital in the wake of the ambush by Naxals in Bijapur on Saturday that also left more than 30 personnel injured, said that 'lessons are learnt' from every incident and they will see and analyse 'what changes have been brought by the Naxals' to effectively counter them.

Singh said the Maoists are frustrated and troubled because of the induction of five new battalions in the Bastar region of the state recently and the creation of new bases in remote areas like Basaguda, Silger, Jagargunda and Minpa.

'They (Naxals) think that if they mount heavy casualties on us they can deter us and we may not establish new camps.

'But this does not happen...there have been many casualties in the past too... and as per government policy the force keeps moving forward,' he said.

The DG asserted that the new camps 'will be established and now this process will be made fast so that we can launch more serious operations against the Naxals.' 'We keep changing our strategy and it is an evolving process,' he said.

A contingent of 1,500 personnel drawn from six security camps launched the cordon and search operation against Naxals along Bijapur-Sukma border around the crack of dawn on Saturday. The ambush took place around noon that day.

'The Maoists fired from some country-made under-barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) at a party that was returning from Jogagundam after an operation.' 'These grenade rounds came all of a sudden and the troops were initially taken aback. However, they soon controlled the situation, broke the ambush and fired grenades in retaliation,' Singh told reporters after meeting the injured personnel admitted at a hospital here.

He said about 4-5 personnel were injured during this first assault on the security force party.

'Members of the 'jan militia' present in the area again tried to set up an ambush and surprise these troops who were evacuating the injured...and soon after there was a burst fire from a Light Machine Gun (LMG) that was mounted some distance away.

'However, the party finally reached their base and found that 21 personnel were missing. It was then that a search was launched,' the CRPF DG said.

The DG said his force, the lead combat unit for anti-Naxal operations in the country, will see and analyse 'what changes have been brought by the Naxals and how can we counter them so that we again can come heavy on them.' He said the Maoists have looted the weapons of 'less than 21 jawans'.

Some weapons of the killed personnel were brought back by those who survived the attack, he said.

The CRPF chief met his troops including the field commander of the operation, second-in-command rank officer Sandeep Dwivedi of the 210 CoBRA Battalion and deputy commandant Manish Kumar. PTI NES SKL RT CK