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
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.