Lucknow, Oct 7 : The long drawn Maoist insurgency in the country will be "completely erased" in two to three years, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh declared here on Sunday.
Addressing the 26th anniversary of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), a specialised wing of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Minister said the situation had changed and Maoists were now confined to only 10 or 12 districts.
"We will get news within 2-3 years that Maoism has been completely erased," said Singh, who represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha.
Praising the CRPF's role in Maoist affected areas, Singh said the 3.5 lakh-strong force had neutralized 131 Maoists this year between January and September 20 and caught another 1,278.
"A total of 58 Maoists had to surrender before the CRPF. The force also recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition this year besides Rs 1.29 crore in cash."
In the process, the killing of security personnel in Maoist hubs had drastically fallen.
A Maoist insurgency raging in parts of India since 1967 has claimed thousands of lives. Maoists are now known to be most active in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Jammu and Kashmir, he asserted, would always be with India.
"Kashmir is ours, it was ours and it will be ours. No power of the world can snatch it from us," he said.
Reminding that RAF deals with riots, major law and order issues as well as relief and rescue operations, Singh said "rapid action" did not mean "reckless action".
"The force should understand how to behave, how much pressure it should create and when this should be created."
The Minister said the security forces were "civilized" and not "brutal".
The RAF has been "using minimum force and producing maximum result".
Singh lauded the CRPF's attempt in maintaining a balance while dealing with Kashmir. "If some Kashmiri youths do things they should not because they are instigated by some people, you handle them properly as you feel that they belong to our country.
"But if any person indulges in terrorist activity, no power in the world can stop you from neutralizing that person."
The Minister said militant incidents had decreased in Jammu and Kashmir and that security forces had been giving a befitting reply to the terrorists.
In view of the RAF's demand, Singh said the government had given nod to establish five new battalions in Jaipur, Varanasi, Manglore, Hazipur and Nuh.
The Minister said 220 quarters were being built in every CRPF battalion so that the troops could live with their family.