Unions Home Minister, Rajnath Singh made a rather huge claim when he said that ‘Left Wing Extremism’ or Naxalism, as it is more widely known, would be wiped out from the Country in two to three years. Singh’s comment came while he was speaking at the 26th year anniversary program of Rapid Action Force (RAF) which is a special unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), at Lucknow.
Singh claimed that there has been a drastic fall in number of naxal affected districts, from 126 to just 10-12. “That day is not far, may be in a time period of 1-2 or 3 years, when the LWE will be eliminated from the country and this would happen due to your (CRPF) determination, courage and hard work and that of the state police forces,” he said. “I congratulate you for the work you have done.”
Quoting statistics, Singh said that the force has killed 131 maoists and militants this year, while it has captured 1,278 of them and 58 have voluntarily surrendered during the same time.
Speaking about the State of Jammu And Kashmir, where CRPF plays the role of main counter-military force against terrorists, Singh asserted that the region has been and always be an “inseparable” part of India.
Talking about the specific role of the RAF, a special unit under the Central Reserve Police Force, during riots and protests, the home minister said that all police forces are civilised units and they should never do anything that will label them as “brutal”. Singh’s comments came in backdrop of a recent incident in Uttar Pradesh, where a police officer allegedly killed an unarmed civilian.
RAF was made fully operational in October of 1992. It has ten battalions, each having strength of 1,000. The primary task of the force is controlling riot-like situations using non-lethal weapons such as tear-gas grenades.