Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday lamented that very little has been written about the valour of the CRPF jawans who perished in the Maoists attack in Chhattisgarh, and the fact that the two companies of the battalion managed to kill eight Naxalites even when they came under heavy ambush.
“I ask everyone, humbly respectfully, even if you cannot go to the front-line and stand shoulder to shoulder with our brave jawans, please do not be disrespectful to them, please do not be disrespectful to our force,” he said at a CRPF function.
Referring to reports in a section of the media claiming that the CRPF personnel who died were ill-trained and ill-equipped, he said: “On the same page, the list of weapons looted by the Naxalists was also given: 42 AK-47s, INSAS, rifles, light machine guns, mortars and grenades.”
It was also reported that the police deployed in these areas had killed innocent men and raped women. Those who wrote these certainly had no heart, no conscience, he said.
The Minister said:
“I think I know my responsibilities. My responsibility is to see that we have a well-paid, well-fed, well-housed, well-trained, well-equipped and well-motivated police force. And I am doing my best, within the limits of my capacity, to make the CRPF and other forces such a force.”
“We have addressed issues related to salaries, allowances, pension, compensation and rehabilitation. More needs to be done and it will be done.”
Mr. Chidambaram said he would ensure that before the month ended, every family of the martyred CRPF personnel received compensation and one member of every family got a job.
Though the CRPF was conceived as a “reserved” police force, it had to perform a variety of duties such as providing security during elections, maintaining law and order, controlling crowd, securing important people and involving in their personal security and fighting insurgency and terror.