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Home Ministry Gives Security Cover to 24 Leaders in Poll-bound Chhattisgarh over Naxal Threat – News18

Reported By: Ankur Sharma

Last Updated: October 11, 2023, 22:18 IST

According to the communication, the CRPF will give these leaders in Chhattisgarh cover till December 31, 2023. (Representational image: AFP)

These leaders are mostly from the BJP and the CRPF has been asked to give X-category security cover to them in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region

Ahead of next month’s elections in Chhattisgarh and considering previous violence against political leaders by Naxals in the state, the union ministry of home affairs has given central security cover to 24 political leaders. These leaders are mostly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been asked to give X-category security cover to these leaders in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region.

According to the communication, the CRPF will give them cover till December 31, 2023. The leaders include district vice presidents, Yuva Morcha members, Kisan Morcha members, district secretaries, district treasurers, etc, in Bijapur. Also, in Sukma, Dantewada and Kondagaon, the Centre has given security to various political leaders including panchayat vice presidents, panchayat members, mandal presidents, and district general secretaries. In Kondagaon and Sukma, a total of four local leaders have been given security cover by the Centre.

According to the sources, central security agencies in consultation with intelligence agencies have decided to provide security cover as there was a threat perception that Naxals can target local leaders in areas like Bijapur, Dantewada, and Sukma, where the extremists hold sway. In the previous elections, Naxals targeted various political leaders and a journalist was killed in a Naxal attack. Sources said that the security cover will be for the particular areas and within the state only.

The Naxal or Maoist movement dates back to 1967 when armed peasants revolted in West Bengal’s Naxalbari village and later the “red” cadres of the CPI (Maoist) led the agitation claiming legitimate socio-economic rights for tribal and locals. Over the years, security personnel have fought bloody battles with the guerrillas around the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh which comprises remote districts like Sukma, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Kanker, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Dantewada and Jagdalpur.

In 2013, Naxals carried out what was, perhaps, one of their boldest attacks by killing 25 Congress leaders, including former state minister Mahendra Karma, in Darbha valley.

Also, between February 5 and 11 of this year, alleged Maoists killed three BJP leaders or functionaries.

In June, a group of Naxal guerrillas in Chhattisgarh killed a BJP leader and former sarpanch, Kaka Arjun, and left a warning note on it.

During various state elections, the Centre has given security cover to vulnerable political leaders who may get targeted by various anti-social elements. After the elections, the Centre withdraws the security cover from them based on threat perception.

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