Exclusive: How Naxals attacked CRPF battalion in Chhattisgarh's Sukma – Report from Ground Zero
As per reports, around 300 armed Naxals attacked the forces at 12:25 pm in Kalapathar area of south Bastar region on Monday.
Sukma: Twenty-five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred in one of the deadliest Naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Monday.
As per reports, around 300 armed Naxals attacked the forces at 12:25 pm in Kalapathar area of south Bastar region.
The attack was reportedly organised by the military battalion of Naxals Company No 1.
Naxal commander Situ alias Sonu is believed to be the mastermind of the dastardly attack, sources said. However, some reports said that Hidma, the commander of the second battalion of the People's Liberation Gureilla Army (PLGA), was the brain behind the massacre.
Speaking to Zee Media, CRPF DIG DP Upadhyaya said the 74th CRPF Battalion was on Road Opening Party (ROP) duty to guard the road and bridge which are being constructed when the ambush took place.
Some villagers were used as a shield by the Naxals to attack the CRPF men, the officer said, adding that some Maoists in the disguise of villagers also attacked the personnel.
He confirmed that around one-third of the armed Naxals were women. The attackers used hand grenades, automatic rifles and rocket launchers, locally made IED mounted arrow as they launched the attack "from all sides".
The official further said that around 7-8 Naxals were killed in the retaliatory fire, but no body was recovered.
While admitting that there was an intelligence failure as it was a planned ambush, the officer insisted that the intelligence network and tactics would be improved.
Locals are either threatened or allured by Naxals to act as a shield when they plan to attack the security forces. Even if anyone talks to the forces, they kill that person, the CRPF DIG said.
He said there was a good coordination between state police and CRPF.
Earlier today, Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed the Maoist attack on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh, which left 25 troopers dead, as a "cold-blooded murder", saying the government will take strong action against those responsible.
Singh, who visited the attack site in Sukma district earlier on Tuesday, told the media here that a joint meeting of various state government officials will take place on May 8 to strengthen the strategy against the Maoists.