Jagdalpur, Mar 12 (PTI): Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has vowed to take “revenge” for Tuesday's Naxal ambush in which 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, saying the attack could be an attempt to disrupt the Lok Sabha elections.
“We will definitely take revenge,” he told reporters here.
The home minister, who is on a day-long visit to Chhattisgarh to review the situation arising out of the killing of soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force, four Chhattisgarh policemen and one civilian in Sukma district, said the probe into incident will be conducted by the National Investigation Agency.
Asked how the “revenge” will be taken, Shinde said like in the past the central and state forces would jointly conduct anti-Naxal operations and hunt down the Maoists involved in the ambush.
“We know where they are,” he said.
The home minister said the incident could be an attempt to disrupt the general election beginning April 7, but said authorities would ensure that the polls will be as successful as the assembly elections held in Chhattisgarh late last year.
”It could be an attempt to threaten the Lok Sabha polls. We will conduct the election as successfully as we have done during during the assembly polls. We will provide adequate forces,” he said.
The home minister said contrary to reports, there was no prior specific intelligence input about the Naxal attack in Sukma.
”There were intelligence inputs ...two-three times... but it was not specific,” he said.
Shinde said there were reports that the CPI(Maoist) had been weakened and the cadres of the outfit were scared due to presence of security forces and continuous anti-Naxal operations.
The home minister said he had held a detailed discussion with Chief Minister Raman Singh, Governor Shekhar Dutt and other senior officials and reviewed the situation in Chhattisgarh.
”This is the second similar incident. We have already discussed it. We have to follow the previous instructions. Some time mistakes do take place. But we have full confidence that the security forces will do the needful to avoid such incidents and arrest those involved in the attack,” he said.
Asked about deployment of forces during the general elections, Shinde said the Naxal problem exists in Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh as well as some other states.
”We will also have to deploy forces in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka. We have to provide forces as per the security requirements,” he said.