`CRPF men misread Naxal tactics in Dantewada’
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Last Updated: Friday, April 22, 2011, 19:21
Raipur: A year after the deadly Dantewada Naxal ambush killed 76 security personnel, Chhattisgarh Police chief Vishwa Ranjan has said the CRPF men had simply gone into the area without realising that it was a "killing zone" and misread the tactics of Maoists.

He said the CRPF company consisting of 75 personnel and a state policeman met the deadly fate -- the biggest ever casualty of security forces in anti-naxal operations till date -- as they went into an open area having no shield.

"They went into the area (Tadmetla in Dantewada) without realising that it is a killing zone. If you do not gauge that a particular area is a killing zone you will get trapped into it. There was no shield for them to hide and retaliate (in Dantewada). They went into an open field," the Director General of Police said while interacting with a group of visiting journalists here.

"They (CRPF men) miscued the tactical manoeuvres of the opponent (naxalites)," he said.

On being asked if there were some lessons to be learnt by security forces while operating in such terrains, Vishwa Ranjan said "you (security forces) should always be very alert and weigh all the pros and cons" before initiating operations in such areas.

"There are certain terrains which are known as killing zones. There is specific way to negotiate a killing zone. But they (CRPF men) went into the killing zone," he said.

"You don't have to teach them. All these techniques are taught in the basic training of these troops....it has been told to you in your training as to how to negotiate a mountain or a valley," the DGP said when asked if the operational tactics have changed in the state taking lessons from the gruesome attack of April 6 last year.

He said that incidents like Dantewada had happened to the best of forces in the world and one has to keep learning.

The DGP also said the state police and central forces like CRPF, BSF and ITBP (all deployed for anti-naxal operations in the state) have good co-ordination and they all "sit together and try to achieve a target".

"The amount of additional pressure we are putting on naxals was not possible without these (central) forces. The total forces' strength in the state deployed for anti-naxal operations is about 50,000 personnel," the top police official said.

The Dantewada naxal ambush last year had come as a big shock for both the security establishment and the government with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram acknowledging that something went "drastically" wrong in the incident.

Two high-level inquiries were ordered into the incident and the officers involved in the planning of the operation were shunted out after one such report by former BSF chief E N Rammohan came out with its recommendations.


First Published: Friday, April 22, 2011, 19:21

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