Chhattisgarh for major offensive against Maoists

Raipur, May 15: Security forces are set to launch a major offensive against Maoists in Chhattisgarh following renewed violence by the guerrillas, official sources said Monday.

Chief Minister Raman Singh gave the go ahead for reviving the offensive at a late night meeting here Monday, the sources said.

Singh reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar, Director General of Police Anil M. Navaney, Home department Principal Secretary N.K. Aswal and the chief minister’s Principal Secretary Baijendra Kumar.

According to officials, Raman Singh was perturbed over the stepped up violence by Maoists despite the government agreeing to work for peace.

He reportedly told the officials to revive the anti-Maoist drive before the achievements of the security forces thus far in Bastar get negated.

After releasing abducted Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, the Maoists attacked Sunday a National Minister Development Corp plant some 70 km from Jagdalpur town killing seven men.

The dead included six men of the Central Industrial Security Force and a civilian. The attackers also looted their weapons.

Maoists have also killed two police officers and two other men separately in Bastar.

Following negotiations that preceded the release of collector Menon, the Chhattisgarh government and Maoist negotiators had agreed to form a panel to review cases of Maoists jailed in the state.

This process might get derailed if the anti-Maoist offensive begins.