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Detection of IEDs a challenge for anti-Naxal forces: Chhattisgarh CM

PTI | Raipur |

Admitting that detection of IEDs was a challenge for the anti-Naxal forces, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Wednesday said that if the problem is overcome, it will take six months to tackle the rebels.

He said this was a tougher battle than what was fought on the borders as in the Naxal-hit areas, the war was against “unidentified” people.

In several incidents, the Naxals have planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in a bid to harm the security personnel.

The devices are often hidden underground or in bushes and planted in dart tracks and near police camps, he said.

According to the police, the rebels fear that construction of roads will speed up the movement of security forces and development works, which will ultimately uproot them.

Singh’s remarks came a day after nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed after Naxals blasted their mine protected vehicle (MPV) in Sukma district.

“…Naxals suffer damage in the face-to-face encounters with security forces daily in the area. But improvised explosive device is a challenge. The detection of an IED is a difficult task,” he said.

“If we excel in IED detection, this battle (against Maoists) will be finished within six months,” the chief minister said.

He was speaking to reporters, along with Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir, at the camp of 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) in the Mana Camp area here, after paying homage to the nine CRPF personnel killed in the Naxal attacked yesterday.

One year ago also, on March 11, the Naxals had killed 12 CRPF personnel by triggering a blast in the Bhejji area of Sukma, Singh said.

It is unfortunate that with the available technology, it is not possible to detect an IED placed one foot beneath the ground. However, some latest technique will be used in this direction, he assured.

On yesterday’s attack, Singh said the security forces had recently set up a camp in Palodi village (Sukma), which is considered as a stronghold of the ultras.

Frustrated with the development, the Naxals targeted the CRPF personnel between Kistaram and Palodi, he said.

The chief minister said security forces have been fighting a tough battle. It is quite difficult to stay there and take action against the Naxals.

Security forces have been marching ahead with full courage and valour and thwarting the attempts made by Naxals to stop development works, he said, noting that a network of roads is being laid all over Bastar.

These incidents cannot lower the morale of the security forces, he said, asserting that “Naxals will be given a befitting reply and completely flushed out.”

He compared the situation in the Naxal-affected areas with that on the borders.

“The battle in the insurgency-hit areas is no less than what is being fought on the borders. In fact, the war in Naxal-hit areas is tougher as the fight there is against the unidentified (people),” he said.

The state cabinet ministers, senior administrative and police officials, senior CRPF officials were among those present at the wreath laying ceremony.