Martyred jawans of Dantewada naxal attack laid to rest; CM vows to contain

Dantewada: Amid cries and loud chanting of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, wreaths were laid on Thursday at the mortal remains of 10 police personnel and a civilian driver who died in a blast carried out by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

Women, children and other family members of the deceased were seen crying while women security personnel were trying to console them. After paying homage to the martyred personnel who died in the Naxal attack on Wednesday, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the sacrifices of the jawans will not go in vain and the fight against Naxalites will be intensified.

The CM lent his shoulder to the mortal remains of one of the jawans on way to a vehicle in which the mortals remains were being shifted to native places of the deceased. Ten personnel, belonging to the District Reserve Guard (DRG), and a civilian driver were killed after Naxalites blew up their Multi-Utility Vehicle (MUV) which was part of a convoy carrying security personnel in Aranpur police station area of Dantewada on Wednesday afternoon.

The blast was carried out using an IED containing an estimated 40 kg of explosive material. Visuals from the spot showed a huge crater across the road at the blast site, almost 10-feet deep. The MUV was completely destroyed in the blast. The wreath laying ceremony for the deceased was held at the Police Lines in Karli area here on Thursday. Chhattisgarh CM Baghel, Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu, MPs Dipak Baij and Phulodevi Netam and state Director General of Police Ashok Juneja paid homage to the deceased. Baghel also met kin of the martyred jawans and the driver and assured them of extending assistance.

Talking to reporters, Baghel said the martyrdom of the jawans will not go in vain and the fight against Naxalites will be intensified. “Our jawans have been giving a tough fight to Naxalites in their core areas. In the last four years, 75 camps (of security forces) have been set up in the core areas of Naxalites, while earlier the camps were established only in buffer areas,” the CM said.

“Now, there is no need to go to Sukma to reach Jagargunda as roads have been built from Aranpur and Bhairamgarh to reach there. Puvarti (in Bijapur district), which is called the headquarters of Hidma (dreaded Naxal commander), has now been surrounded from all sides (by security force camps),” he said. Baghel said roads were being constructed in the interiors pockets of Bastar division and police camps were being set up.

“People’s confidence in the government has grown. Naxalites were pushed to the back foot, and such an attack has happened after a gap of two years which was carried out by them out of disappointment,” he added. Asked about the government’s claims to have contained Naxal activities, Baghel said, “Earlier, jawans were attacked in their camps, but now jawans have been taking on Naxalites in the forests after carrying out search operations. Now our jawans do not lose their lives in camps.”

He said Naxalites carry out their Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) in summer when the visibility increases in forest as leaves and grasses get dried. This period is suitable both for the security forces and Naxalites, but this time the security personnel suffered more loss, the Congress leader said. Bharatiya Janata Party’s Chhattisgarh in-charge Om Mathur and other leaders also attended the wreath laying ceremony and paid tribute to the martyred personnel.