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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said Left Wing Extremist groups were "restless" because of the "unprecedented success" of security forces' operations against them, and termed the Maoist attack at Sukma, in Chhattisgarh, in which 12 CRPF troopers were killed a result of that frustration.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the March 11 attack, Rajnath Singh condoled the death of the 12 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and said that a probe has been ordered into the attack.
"I express my condolences to the bereaved families. The nation is with them, the nation will remember their sacrifice," he said.
"The Left wing extremist groups are restless because of the unprecedented success of the forces against them. In 2016, forces have achieved success against the Left Wing Extremists in many states, specially in Chhattisgarh," the Home Minister said.
He said 135 extremists were killed, 700 were arrested and 1,198 surrendered last year, and there was a 15 per cent drop in Left Wing extremist incidents in Chhattisgarh in 2016.
"The Left Wing extremist incidents in Chhattisgarh dropped from 466 in 2015 to 395 in 2016."
He said the rate of surrender and arrests in 2016 were higher than the previous year as well. "The Left Wing extremists faced major damage in 2016," he told Parliament's lower house.
"To uplift the falling morale of their cadres, they execute attacks like this one. I am confident our brave soldiers will fight them and end Left Wing Extremism soon," he said.
The number of Left Wing Extremists killed increased by 150 per cent from 89 in 2015 to 222 in 2016 while surrenders and arrests registered a combined increase of 47 per cent over 2015 (2,238 to 3,282), he said.
The Minister said only three weapons were lost by the security forces in 2016 as against 15 in 2015. "At least 67 per cent of exchange of fire resulted in neutralization of the Left Wing extremist cadres as against only 36 per cent in 2015."
"The security forces ensured that South Bastar districts, considered to be the nucleus of Left Wing extremists strength, witnessed a considerable fall in violence in 2016 (252 incidents as against 326 in 2015). The Left Wing Extremists have suffered unprecedented losses in 2016. They have admitted so, openly in their documents and statements," he said.
Singh also said that the CRPF has been asked to carry out a probe to find whether there had been any lapses on their part in the Sukma attack.
"I have directed the DG (Director General), CRPF to conduct a detailed enquiry into the incident so that the lapses that led to the incident can be identified, which will reduce the possibility of repetition of such incidents in the future.
"I want to assure the nation, their design of keeping parts of the country backward for their own selfish reasons will not be allowed to succeed," he said.
In one of the biggest Maoist attacks in the past two years, 12 CRPF personnel were killed and four injured in an ambush by the rebels in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday when two companies of the force were providing security cover for road construction on Bheji-Gorkha-Injiram Axis.
"Loss of life can in no way be compensated by money. However, the next of kin of the martyred CRPF personnel will be provided Rs 35 lakh as ex-gratia from the central government, Rs 20 lakh from the risk fund of CRPF and Rs one lakh from the forces welfare fund.
"They will also get Rs 25 lakh as insurance benefits and Rs three lakh as ex-gratia from the Chhattisgarh government. The next of kin will also be provided full salary till the age of superannuation of the personnel martyred under the Liberalized Pensionary Award (LPA)," the minister added.
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