Maharashtra CM vows to launch speedy action against Maoists

      Expressing his grief over the killing of 20 policemen by Maoists in Maharashtra 's Gadchiroli district, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Friday said the attacks would not deter the spirit to wipe out the rebels. "We will speed up the fight against the Maoists. There is a need to root out the problem for which we will have to take several steps. We have sent police teams and increased the forces there. We are also getting assistance from the Central Government. We cannot stay at home if people are killed. There is need to act swiftly against the Maoists," said Chavan. The attack has shocked the entire country and has only strengthened the government's resolve in rooting out this menace. "We are confident, but don't expect that the situation would turn normal overnight. But soon, we will bring a turnabout in the situation. It is a condemnable incident. They thrive on such activities only. They are enemies to the security of the country and they need to be dealt with," said A.S. Gill, Director General (DG), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The government is leaving no stone unturned to tackle the Maoists. It is even contemplating roping in defence forces to fight the rebels, a move opposed by the Communists. "We don't think that the Army should be involved in this because it will set a very bad precedent. It is not like using the Army in Afghanistan . The collateral damage that it will be cause will be great, if the Army or Air Force is used," said A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI). Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has pressed two Mi17 copters for the joint operations being carried out by the Maharashtra and the Chhattisgarh police to nab naxals responsible for Thursday's massacre. With just four days left for the Maharashtra state polls, massive combing operations continued in Gadchiroli District situated in the southeastern corner of Maharashtra , bordering Chhatisgarh to the east, and Andhra Pradesh to the south and southwest. On Thursday afternoon, nearly 200 Naxals ambushed a police outpost near Lahir village of Bhamragadh tehsil in Gadchiroli District brutally killing between 17 to 20 policemen, including a sub inspector. All the dead policemen belonged to the C-60 anti-Naxal force raised by Maharashtra . However, these Mi17 choppers have been called upon not for combat use, but to enhance the search and rescue operations. However, sources added that the choppers have the option to retaliate if fired at them. The Gadchiroli district administration opined that choppers would be of great assistance to deal with ongoing violence in the region.

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