Home minister Rajnath Singh today described as “a cold-blooded murder” the Naxalite attack on a CRPF patrol that killed 25 men in Chhattisgarh. 

Singh, who paid homage to the CRPF personnel at a wreath-laying ceremony at the headquarters of the 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the Mana camp area, said it was a “cowardly” act. 

Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon, Chief Minister Raman Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir and senior state and paramilitary officials were also present on the occasion. 

Singh said the attack was part of a campaign by naxals to counter the development work being carried out by the Centre and the state government. He said a strategy to tackle Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) would be reviewed and revised during a high-level meeting to be held in New Delhi on May 8. 

“This is an act of desperation. We have accepted this as a challenge. We will review our LWE strategy and revise it, if required,” the minister, who also held a meeting with the chief minister and senior officials of the state, told reporters.

“The sacrifices of our brave jawans will not go in vain,” he said, adding that “the Naxals are frustrated with the development of roads in Bastar region.” 

The home minister said that Naxalites were the “biggest enemies” of tribal and poor people in the area and were against any development. “But they will not succeed in their evil designs,” he said, asserting that the Centre and the state would work together to fight them.

At least 25 CRPF personnel were on Monday killed and seven wounded in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, the deadliest ambush by Naxalites of security forces this year. 

The nearly 100-strong CRPF patrol providing security for road construction work came under fierce gunfire from Maoist guerrillas occupying vantage positions, inflicting heavy casualties on the personnel. 

The Naxalites mounted the assault in Kalapathar area of south Bastar region, one of the worst-hit by Left-wing extremism in the country. 

(Feature image source: ANI/@Twitter)