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Naxalites On Back Foot, 650 Villages Freed From Their Clutches In Congress Rule: Chhattisgarh CM

“The strategy of trust, development and security has started yielding successful results and brought down Naxalite activities to a great extent,” Baghel said.

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Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel
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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday said 650 villages were freed from the clutches of Left-Wing extremism (LWE) and recruitment by Naxals has declined due to the Congress government’s strategy of trust, development and security.

Baghel was speaking to reporters here after chairing a meeting of unified command at the New Circuit House to review the security situation and development works in Naxal-affected areas of the state.

“The strategy of trust, development and security has started yielding successful results and brought down Naxalite activities to a great extent,” Baghel said.

The CM said 75 new security camps have been set up in Naxal-hit areas of the state, which goes to polls this year-end. 

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“Earlier, camps were established only in buffer zones but now we have intruded into core areas of Naxalites and set up camps there. Twenty-three camps have been set up alone in Sukma (the worst Naxal-hit district in the state),” he said.

For the first time, he said, land titles were given to forest dwellers in Abhujmad in Bastar region, while schools that were shut in Naxal-hit areas for a long time were reopened.

Roads running up to 2,500 km were constructed and 34-36 new bridges, including two on the Indravati river, were built apart from the launch of the ‘Haat Bazaar’ mobile clinic scheme, the CM said.  

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All these measures enhanced the income of the tribals, created employment opportunities and improved health and education infrastructure, he said.

Asserting that Bastar is changing, Baghel said, earlier tribals and forest dwellers used to treat police and forest personnel as enemies but now they consider them as their ‘mitra’ (friends) and the shift has been possible due to the developmental work initiated in the Naxal-hit areas.

“As many as 650 villages have been freed from Naxalism and a decline in recruitment (to the banned outfit) has been witnessed,” the CM said, adding that the unified command meeting discussed the continuation of all the development measures.

Baghel also said that he has directed officials to ensure security for political leaders in view of their visit for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

To a query on the BJP’s claim of targeted killing of its leaders in the Bastar region, the CM said he has already asserted that if the saffron party does not have faith in state police it can approach the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for a probe into the murder of its leaders.

Four BJP leaders have been killed by suspected Naxalites in separate incidents in the Bastar region so far this year.

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Chief Secretary Amitabh Jain and Director-General of Police Ashok Juneja were among those who attended the meeting. 

Addressing a rally in Durg in the state last week, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre has brought the LWE in the country under control in the last nine years except for a few areas in Chhattisgarh's Bastar.

-With PTI Input

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