CRPF Rajnath Singh
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh at the wreath laying ceremony of the 25 CRPF jawans who were killed in the Maoist attack in the state's Sukma district on Monday.PIB

Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh on Tuesday paid homage to 25 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who lost their lives in the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district. He called the attack a "cold-blooded murder."

"This is a cold-blooded murder. The sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain. Attempts are being made to derail the development process in the region," Singh, who visited Raipur to pay tribute to the CRPF jawans, said.

The wreath laying ceremony of the jawans was held at the headquarters of the 4th battalion of Chhattisgarh Armed Force.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Governor Balramji Das Tandon, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir and senior state and paramilitary officials were also present at the wreath laying ceremony.

Rajnath also visited the injured jawans at Balaji Institute of Medical Science and Ramkrishna Care Hospital. "We have accepted the attack on our jawans as a challenge. We have decided to revise our LWE strategy if need be and have called a meeting of officials of various state governments on May 8. This is a cowardly act. The Centre and state governments will together work and take action. This is an act of desperation," the minister told reporters.

At least 25 CRPF personnel were killed and several injured by Naxals between Burkapal-Chintagufa area in south Bastar in Sukma on Monday, April 24. The 74 Battalion of the CRPF battled the Naxals for at least an hour in the area.

On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh Police also issued a high alert in Naxal-affected Balaghat district. The Home Ministry has also asked for a detailed report from the CRPF on the attack.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders across political parties have condemned the attack on the CRPF jawans and expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased.

Meanwhile, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has criticised the central government for the "barbaric" attack on the jawans, blaming the Centre for not being concerned about internal security. Yechury wrote on Twitter: "Condolences to the bereaved families of the CRPF troopers. No condemnation of this barbaric act is strong enough. Today's tragedy also calls for political responsibility and public accountability. Will we see anyone own this failure? CRPF is without a DG: the govt is clearly unconcerned about internal security, whether it be Kashmir or goons killing in the name of cow."