Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who today reviewed the anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh in his first visit here after the May 25 attack, said the Central forces and state police would launch joint action in Bastar area in the days to come.
He had an hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior officials at Raj Bhavan. Naxal attack in south Bastar on May 25 killed 27 persons including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and senior leader Mahendra Karma.
"After a discussion over the incident, we have decided to take a joint action," said Shinde. "Chief Minister Raman Singh told me that this time we will not put any demand (to Centre), except we want support. Central forces will support the state in joint operation."
"Every Naxal-affected state should develop Greyhound force (on the lines of Andhra Pradesh) to combat Naxals. Centre would offer help in this area," he added.
State Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar, Union Home Secretary R K Singh, CRPF Director General Pranay Sahay and Chhattisgarh DGP Ramniwas were among those who attended today's meeting.
About the attack, Shinde said, "In the preliminary investigation it seems that there are security lapses, but enquiry will further reveal it.
"So far we were thinking that this (violence) would be some other way of movement. But in 2010 incident (Tadmetla massacre in which 76 security personnel were killed) and May 25 (attack on Congress rally) we have seen it is nothing other than a terror (activity)," he added.
As to allegations of intelligence failure leading to the attack, Shinde said enquiry would reveal the truth.
About the talk of `conspiracies' involving some Congress leaders behind the attack, Shinde said, "Politics should not be done. State government has already ordered judicial probe while we have also ordered NIA probe. Their reports will reveal it (the truth)."
The Union Home Minister also said that sometimes Naxals were seen as champions of the rights of tribal communities, but they were killing innocent people though development was taking place in the region.
Earlier today, Shinde visited the family-members of Nand Kumar Patel at his native Nadeli village in Raigarh district.
Balak Patel, a relative of Nand Kumar's, complained to Shinde about the security lapses and apparent `political conspiracy' behind the incident. He also alleged that state government had failed to make proper use of security forces provided by the Centre.
To which Shinde said, "We have ordered an enquiry of CBI level. The investigation will reveal who are responsible for the incident. I will look at your grievances and justice will be done to your family."
Talking to reporters later, Shinde said the May 25 attack was bigger than a terror strike. "The incident is bigger than terrorism," he said.