Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday asked the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to not only fight terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and Maoist rebels in central India, but also go after “urban Naxals”.
“The Home Minister directed the CRPF to carry out an effective and decisive campaign against Left Wing Extremism in the next six months. Action needs to be taken against the urban Naxals and their facilitators. The Home Minister emphasised that the road connectivity and medical infrastructure in LWE areas should be upgraded,” a statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
The statement comes in the backdrop of the arrest by Maharashtra police of civil rights activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon matter for allegedly supporting Maoists. Shah has on multiple occasions said that his government has no sympathy for “urban Maoists” who allegedly support subversive movements.
“Left-wing violence was initially considered as ideological and gullible people were misguided to kill others. I don’t consider these urban Maoists as ideologists. These people are the supporters and propaganda agents of the Maoist elements unleashing terror in tribal region and using the poor tribal people. We have no sympathy towards them. We will deal with them sternly,” Shah had said in the Lok Sabha during a debate on a Bill to amend the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in July.
The minister made his latest statements on his maiden visit to the CRPF headquarters at the CGO complex on Friday. Following the visit, Shah tweeted: Visited the @crpfindia headquarters in New Delhi. CRPF personnel have always lived upto their motto of ‘Sewa and Nishtha’ by protecting our nation at different terrains. I salute the courage & bravery of CRPF personnel and their families. We are proud of their exemplary valour.”
Shah was apprised of the organisational structure of the CRPF and its special forces by force DG R R Bhatnagar in a presentation. A detailed presentation was also made on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.
“The Home Minister directed that effective action should be taken against the terrorists and Law and Order be maintained. He also directed that the Civic Action Programmes be carried out, besides organising sports and tours. The CRPF should also reach out to the villagers and assist them in obtaining the benefits of many central schemes which are applicable to them, he said. Proper Winter provisioning for the forces should be done and their welfare looked after. He also appreciated the performance of the CRPF in that theatre,” the MHA statement said.
MHA officials said that Shah directed that senior officers should visit the families of “martyrs” and understand their requirements so that their problems are resolved. He also asked for a database of such families and their basic issues and grievances to be systematically addressed.
“He expressed concern about the hard and long deployment of jawans in difficult theatres and discussed various measures for giving them relief and an opportunity to stay with their families. He directed that the building infrastructure of the CRPF and their residential quarters should be improved and more quarters at different duty locations of CRPF should be constructed,” the MHA said.