While 22 security personnel lost their lives to a Naxal attack at Sukma-Bijapur in Chattisgarh on Sunday, the state’s chief minister Bhupesh Baghel is busy campaigning for Congress in Assam, which has drawn criticism from a BJP MP from Mangaldoi Dilip Saikia.
“At a time when many security personnel have lost their lives, Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel is busy in the poll campaign in Assam. He is camping here with government staff and missing government machinery. Election. Commission should investigate this matter.”
Susbequently, Baghel has tweeted that he would return to his state only in evening and it has drawn sharp rebuke from netizens on twitter.
As per Sundarraj Pattilingham, IG Police, Bastar Range, Chattisgarh, nine Naxalites have been killed while 15 others have been injured.
For last 10 days, security forces in Chattisgarh have been hot on heels of Madvi Hidma, a top Naxa of banned CPI (Maoist) who has been linked to major attacks, including the 2013 Jhiram Ghati killings.
Hitma is head of the first battalion and his outfit has been involved in almost all major attacks, including the Jhiram Ghati killings in which 17 security personnel laid their lives.
“He has a multi-layered cover which starts from almost one kilomtre. Another layer of Naxals is deployed at around 500 metres and another bunch protects him at 200 metres. They also carry network jammers to disturb the communication of security forces in case of an encounter,” ANI quoted a senior officer as saying.
Indian Air Force has deployed Mi-17 helicopters to help the paramilitary forces in rescue operations in Sukma.
“My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest,” tweeted prime minister Narendra Modi.
Home minister Amit Shah too expressed his grief.
“I bow to sacrifices of our brave security personnel martyred while fighting Maoists in Chattisgarh. Nation will never forget their valour. My condolences are with their families.”