Maoists fighting their last battle in C’garh: Raman

Over the days since last month’s Maoist attack in Bastar,several senior politicians in Chhattisgarh and Delhi have suggested

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur | Published: June 4, 2013 3:43:29 am

Over the days since last month’s Maoist attack in Bastar,several senior politicians in Chhattisgarh and Delhi have suggested the involvement of Congress insiders. Now chief minister Raman Singh has joined the chorus.

“Kuch na kuch baaten beech men hain. Sui alag alag disha men ghum rahi hai. Kai saare prashn uchhhal rahe hain. Therefore,we have ordered a judicial probe into the entire matter,” Singh said in an interview with The Indian Express.

He admitted that Chhattisgarh had become ground zero of the war against Maoists but rejected demands to bring the army into the fight. “The state is going through a critical phase. Maoists have targeted Chhattisgarh but they are fighting their last battle,” he said. “Army should not be deployed in Bastar. The situation is different than in Kashmir. Maoists are hidden among tribals. Police and CRPF are sufficient for this task. We need a unified force,better trained and equipped.”

His government,Singh said,was instead focussed on development. “We were focused on development. Naxals do not want development. They committed this major incident to bring focus back on violence and Naxalism. Chhattisgarh is the nucleus of this battle. This is a decisive geography where Maoists can be finally defeated… The roots of democracy are much deeper. We will emerge stronger,” he said.

When reminded that figures of attacks on developmental projects are highly exaggerated — suspected rebels have damaged three health centres in Chhattisgarh since 2000 and,barring the Salwa Judum years,there has hardly been any attack on schools in the past 13 years — Singh insisted,“They damage schools,health centres,roads,bridges. They don’t allow construction of roads. They have choked the path to development.”

Are the Maoists so powerful they can withstand the combined might of the state and the central governments? “BRO could not construct even 50 km road in last 10 years. It’s a huge area,over 40000 sq km. We are trying hard. We will deploy forces for constructing roads and bridges,” Singh said said.

Singh conceded that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were unhappy with his government for the security lapse that led to the attack but said it would not affect his government’s equation with the Centre. “Everyone has emotions. They had their feelings; it was a matter of grief. We told them we had also lost our party members and we share their grief. Hamare man bhi kuch tha,unke man men bhi tha,lekin sabke man se nikal gaya. I don’t think this incident will impact Centre-state relations,” he said.

On the row sparked by former Punjab Police chief KPS Gill’s claim that when he was hired as security advisor by Chhattisgarh,Singh told him to take his salary and sit back,he said,“We invited Gill Sahab as an advisor. He held meetings with forces and gave suggestions. The situation of Punjab is different from Bastar as it has a different terrain. How many of his suggestions were accepted,only our police can tell. He was an expert,came here for a few days,then left.”

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