Chhattisgarh government plans to redesign its policy to take on Left Wing Extremism (LWE) active in the southern part of the state.
The development comes after a Maoist attack near Kuakonda in Dantewada district on Tuesday, that killed BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, three security personnel and his driver. The deadly attack had put the four-month-old Congress government in the dock over its stand on LWE.
Soon after taking over as Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel had said that the Maoist problem cannot be solved through bullets. Asserting that force deployment or operations against rebels were no solution, he had said his government would work to restore confidence of the tribal people in the affected areas.
The Chief Minister offered a dialogue with all stakeholders including the affected tribal population. The Maoists responded with stringent conditions that included closing all the camps of security personnel and withdrawal of forces from the region.
Former Chief Minister Raman Singh had cautioned the state government against going soft on the Maoist issue. He alleged that the stand of government was demoralising forces and affecting operations against the rebels.
Director General of Police D M Awasthi denied any impact on operations and said the campaign of security personnel against Maoists continued unabated and many rebels were gunned down.
Amid state government peace initiative, the Maoists unleashed violence without break. In the past one week, they carried out four attacks including killing four Border Security Force (BSF) jawans in Pakhanjore.
After a high-level meeting held Tuesday night, the state government changed its stand on the strategy. “The security forces have been instructed to give befitting reply and respond with bullets for bullets,” Baghel said. The rebels are against democracy, he added
After Jheeram incident (in which 27 people including top leaders of Congress were killed), the Kuakonda incident is the biggest attack on democracy, he said. The state government was taking steps to win the confidence of tribals that had frustrated the Maoists, he said, adding that the (Kuakonda) incident was the outcome of frustration.