Sukma naxal attack: There was no intelligence failure, says Union Minister Hansraj Ahir

Ahir visited the camp of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force here this morning and paid homage to the nine CRPF personnel killed yesterday after Naxals blasted their mine protected vehicle in Sukma.

Published: 14th March 2018 11:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2018 11:24 AM   |  A+A-

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir (File | PTI)

By PTI

RAIPUR: A day after nine CRPF personnel were killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, Union minister Hansraj Ahir today said there was no intelligence failure and asserted that the government was committed to ensuring the security of jawans.

He also said the government wanted to arm the security forces with the latest equipment.

Ahir visited the camp of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force here this morning and paid homage to the nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed yesterday after Naxals blasted their mine protected vehicle (MPV) in Sukma.

"Our jawans sacrificed their lives while fighting a tough battle. We are pained over the incident and at the same time taking this as a challenge. People of the country hope that this will not be repeated and the Centre is alert over it," Ahir told reporters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh have expressed their condolences over the incident, and the Centre has been thinking seriously to ensure the security of its jawans and avoid such incidents in future, the Minister of State for Home Affairs said.

To a question on yesterday's Naxal attack, he said there was no lack of intelligence inputs.

He said that yesterday morning, an exchange of fire took place between the CoBRA personnel (an elite wing of the CRPF) and Naxals.

"It means, we had inputs but the ultras always look for a chance to target," the minister said.

Asked about the need to deploy more forces in anti-Naxal operations, he said, "Rather than inducting forces, we want to arm the security forces with the latest equipment to further strengthen them. We will also focus on the intelligence mechanism."

Besides focusing on modernisation of the security forces, the government has also been looking for the latest technology on the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection techniques, Ahir said.

"Every (Naxal-affected) state has been taking the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) as a challenge.

The central forces and the state police are fighting in full coordination against the menace," he said.

To a query, the minister denied the probability of deploying the Army to tackle Naxals in the Bastar region, which is considered as the hotbed of the ultras.

He was speaking at the headquarters of 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the Mana Camp area here early this morning.

Nine CRPF personnel were killed and two others injured after Naxals blew up their mine protected vehicle (MPV) while they were patrolling on the Kistaram-Palodi route in Sukma.

The rebels used over 50 kgs of explosives to blast the vehicle.

The victims were from to the CRPF's 212th battalion.

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