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Chhattisgarh: Following targeted killings of BJP workers by leftist terrorists in Naxal-infested Bastar, government provides security cover to 43 BJP leaders

The leaders' given security hail from Sukma, Bijapur, Kanker, Bastar, Dantewada, and Narayanpur, with many of them holding key positions such as treasurer, district chief, deputy chief, head of the farmers' wing, and other significant roles in organising BJP events.

Following the spate of killings of BJP leaders in Naxal-infested areas in southern Chhattisgarh, CM Vishnu Deo Sai-led state government has provided security cover to 43 BJP leaders. These leaders include BJP workers and functionaries who are scheduled to visit remote villages in the Maoist-hit areas to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The development comes after nine leaders, including Bijapur BJP district president Srinivas Mudaliar, wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking security for party leaders citing targeted killings of leaders of the saffron party.

BJP leaders noted that the Naxalites are targeting BJP leaders because of the government’s anti-Naxal operations. They requested the Union Home Minister to provide them with ‘Z’ category security. They emphasised that it would be difficult to campaign for the upcoming elections without a security cover as they were under constant threat of Naxal attacks.

On 7th March, Mudaliar had written, “Naxalites are targeting BJP leaders out of frustration with the state govt’s anti-Naxal campaigns. Bijapur district is a Naxal-affected area, so BJP officials and workers are always in fear of death.” 

He added, “Recently, a party leader was brutally murdered, creating an atmosphere of fear among officials. Several leaders are constantly targeted by Naxals, forcing them to frequently change their residence at night.” 

Following these developments, the Police Headquarters has issued an order listing the names of the 43 BJP leaders from Bastar, who will receive security cover.

Targeted killings of BJP leaders by Naxals in recent times

This month alone, Naxalites have brutally killed two BJP leaders. On 1st March, BJP leader Tirupati Katla (49) was killed by Naxalites in Bijapur’s Toyna village when he was returning from a wedding. Later on 6th March, another BJP leader Kailash Nag (40) was killed in a similar attack in the Jangla police station area in Bijapur. Around nine BJP leaders have been killed by Naxalites in the Bastar region since last year. 

The Bastar region has seven districts and two Lok Sabha seats — Kanker and Bastar.

During the last year’s Assembly elections, when BJP was in Opposition in the state, seven BJP leaders and workers were either shot or hacked to death by Maoists in the Bastar region, and the adjacent Mohala Manpur district. 

Last year, several leaders were abducted and were threatened to quit BJP. Fearing for their lives, some of these leaders chose to resign from the party and refrained from lodging complaints with the local police.

Last year, the BJP-led Central government had to provide security in response to repeated Naxal attacks. However, this time, the BJP-led state government has taken measures to safeguard its leaders from Naxal attacks and provided security cover in the form of X, Y, and Y+ categories depending on the threat perception.

The leaders’ given security hail from Sukma, Bijapur, Kanker, Bastar, Dantewada, and Narayanpur, with many of them holding key positions such as treasurer, district chief, deputy chief, head of the farmers’ wing, and other significant roles in organising BJP events.

It is important to note that Naxal-infected areas or Red Corridor has reduced significantly in the last decade and it’s restricted to only a few districts. Additionally, in several addresses, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured that the country will get rid of the menace of Naxalism and other forms of extremism during the third term of the Modi government. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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