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Naxalism a menace which is shrinking, says Rajnath Singh

By Deepika

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the 'serious' challenge of Naxalism in the country has entered its 'last legs' and is losing ground.

Rajnath Singh

Addressing troops of the 'Bastariya' battalion of the CRPF, Rajnath said that "Naxalism is a challenge but I want to say that this menace is now shrinking and is losing ground. The casualties in Security Forces has declined".

Singh also awarded the best performers of the new unit after they presented him with a guard of honour and a military parade.

'Bastariya' battalion was created for the first-time with more than 534 tribal youths from Chhattisgarh.

The battalion is named 'Bastariya' as its members are from the Bastar region in southern Chhattisgarh, bordering Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana. The unique battalion - recruited from Sukma, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur districts of undivided Bastar - has been raised with a specific purpose to strengthen security forces' operations in areas where they have witnessed maximum reverses for a few years owing to a lack of concrete intelligence and familiarisation with locals and the topography.

The hardcore, localised battalion of the young combatants will be immediately deployed for anti-Naxal operations in some of the worst Left Wing Extremism-hit areas such as Sukma, Dantewada and Bijapur, a senior official was quoted as saying by PTI. The recruits have been trained for about 44 weeks in jungle warfare, weapons firing, map reading, police laws and unarmed combat.

The Centre had sanctioned the battalion in July 2018. The concept to raise the team was mooted with the aim that the recruits, mostly tribals, will help address local issues such as unemployment, provide a tactical advantage to CRPF in operations, intelligence collection and language benefits. The CRPF is the lead anti-Naxal operation force and has deployed over 35,000 personnel in Chhattisgarh.

Meanwhile, seven police personnel were killed on Sunday after Naxals blew up their vehicle in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Sunday. Naxals carried out a landmine blast around 12 noon when a joint team of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and the District Force (DF) was patrolling the Cholnar-Kirandul road to provide security to trucks carrying construction material for roadworks between Kirandul and Palnar villages, a senior police official said.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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