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Naxalites were pushed back during Congress rule, 650 villages were freed from their clutches: Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday claimed that around 650 villages have been freed from the clutches of Left Wing Extremism and there has been a decline in recruitment in the Maoist outfit during his government. He also said that his government’s three-pronged strategy of faith, development and security has helped in reducing Naxalite activities to a great extent.

Baghel was speaking to reporters after presiding over a meeting of the Integrated Command to review the security situation and development works in Naxal-affected areas of the state at New Circuit House here this afternoon. Baghel told reporters, “The strategy of trust, development and security has started yielding successful results and Naxalite activities have come down to a great extent.”

He said, “75 new camps have been set up in Naxal affected areas. Earlier, camps were set up only in the buffer zone, but now we are setting up camps in the core areas of Naxalites. 23 camps have been set up in Sukma alone (the most Naxal-affected district in the state).”

Baghel said, “For the first time the forest dwellers of Abujhmad region were given ownership rights of land, long-closed schools in Naxal-affected areas were reopened, 2500 km long roads were constructed, including two bridges on the Indravati river About 36 new bridges were built and the Haat Bazar Mobile Clinic scheme was started.” The Chief Minister said that as a result of all these measures, income and employment opportunities of tribals increased and health and education facilities improved.

Baghel said that “Bastar is changing”. He said that earlier tribals and forest dwellers used to consider police and forest personnel as their enemies, but now they consider them as their ‘friends’. This has been possible due to the development works started in Naxalite affected areas. The Chief Minister said, “650 villages have been freed from Naxalism. Now there has been a decline in recruitment in the Naxalite organization. He said that it was discussed during the meeting of the unified command to continue all the development works.

Baghel said that he has directed the officials to ensure security in view of the visit of political party leaders for the upcoming assembly elections in the state. To a question on the party’s allegations about the targeted killing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in the Bastar region, Baghel said he has already said that if the BJP does not have faith in the state police, it will kill its leaders. You can contact the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for investigation.

Suspected Maoists have killed four BJP leaders in separate incidents in Bastar region so far this year. Chief Secretary Amitabh Jain, Director General of Police Ashok Juneja, senior police and paramilitary officers and officers of other departments were present in the meeting.

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