New Delhi [India] Apr 24 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the death of 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has strongly condemned the killing and stated that he will sit and talk with the head of CRPF and police on this matter.
"This is a grave matter. Our hearts go out to the martyred. We will rethink our strategies in that area soon. I will sit and have a talk with the head of CRPF and police," said Singh.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Minister asserted that Naxals are creating hurdles in the development works and the government would work on it soon.
"I have spoken to the Home secretary regarding this incident. The incident is big, it is unfortunate. I consider this as a challenge. I have ordered Minister of State (MoS) Hansraj Ahir to reach Chhattisgarh. I will try to talk to Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister, Raman Singh and later decide whether I should go to Chhattisgarh or not. Naxals are creating hurdles in the development works. The Maoists are depriving poor from accessing facilities created by government," said Singh.
An injured CRPF constable Sher Mohammed claimed that the Naxals were around 300 in number and the CRPF personnel were around 150.
"First of all the Naxals sent the villagers to trace our location, then almost 300 Naxals attacked us. We also fired and killed many of them. They were around 300 and we were around 150, we kept firing. I shot three to four Naxals in the chest and we all did our best," said Mohammed.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has also condemned the attack on the CRPF personnel in Sukma by Left Wing Extremists describing it as a mindless and ruthless strike on the security forces.
"The sacrifice of twenty six brave men is a big loss to the nation. Such attacks will never deter the fight against extremism," said Gandhi.
Gandhi also expressed her solidarity with friends and families of the slain jawans and prayed for the early recovery and good health of the injured.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister a Modi called the attack as cowardly and deplorable, adding that the sacrifice of the slain Jawans won't go in vain.
"Attack on @crpfindia personnel in Chhattisgarh is cowardly & deplorable. We are monitoring the situation closely. We are proud of the valour of our @crpfindia personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain. Condolences to their families," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
The Prime Minister also wished for speedy recovery of the injured jawans.
Expressing his pain over the incident, the Union Home Minister Singh paid his tributes to the slain jawans.
"Extremely pained to know about killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My tributes to the martyrs and condolences to their families. Spoke to MoS Home Hansraj Ahir about attack in Sukma, he is going to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation," Singh tweeted.
Resonating similar views, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said he is deeply pained, adding that the slain jawans' sacrifice should not go in vain.
"It is a classic case of mindless killing. There is no place for such things in democracy," he added.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiu said, it was a very sad incident, adding that it was a big tragedy.
The Congress Party also expressed its thoughts and prayers for the families of the security personnel who lost their lives in the encounter.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, "My sincere condolences to the families of CRPF personnel martyred in the attack in #Sukma. We salute the sacrifice&courage of our bravehearts."
A message was received by the Indian Air Force's Anti Naxal Task Force Commander about the ambush of the CRPF team at Burkapal area of Sukma District to airlift three casualties.
Immediately, two IAF Mi-17 V5s of Jagdalpur detachment took off for Burkapal. One of the MI-17 was flying in escort role.
On landing at the venue of ambush it was learnt that there were eleven Mortals remains of CRPF Martyrs for airlift and seven casualties.
Immediately, the casualties were air lifted to Raipur and shifted to hospital. One of the casualty succumbed to injuries in flight on the way to Raipur.
More helicopters have been launched from Raipur and Jagdalpur to evacuate mortal remains of the slain jawans.
The mortal remains of six personnel have reached the Burkapal camp. The six injured CRPF personnel have been shifted to a hospital in Raipur.
As many as 90 CRPF jawans were part of the road opening party when they were attacked by the Naxals.
The weapons of the jawans have also been looted Chhattisgarh.
Director General of the CRPF and senior officials are reaching Raipur and further to Sukma tomorrow morning. Bastar Inspector General Vivekanand Sinha and DIG Sunderraj have left for Sukma.
The attack took place on personnel of the 74th Battalion of the CRPF as they were assisting the local population in road building activity in the district.
The Congress Party has described the encounter killing of 12 CR PF personnel by Naxals as extremely unfortunate and called on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government to initiate appropriate counter action.
Addressing the media here, party spokesman Manish Tiwari said, "Extremely unfortunate. Hope government will act with alacrity. Hope government initiates appropriate action against people responsible for attack." (ANI)