New Delhi: The CRPF top boss Thursday said he has asked his troops deployed in anti-Naxal operations to even go to the extent of "violating" the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) if such a diversion in rules is required for operational efficiency and safety of the men.
Dismissing suggestions that there was a contravention of set SOPs by his personnel during the March 11 Naxal ambush in Chhattiagarh`s Sukma which killed 11 CRPF men and four others, CRPF Director General Dilip Trivedi told PTI that the incident will not deter the paramilitary, and the paramilitary force will be more "steadfast" in deploying their operational tactics in beating the Naxals.
"The top brass of the force cannot take away the initiative of the field commander. The commander on ground has to deploy his hunch and instinct while he is out in an operational area. I have told them that you can even violate the SOPs, provided that is in the interest of the operations and safety of troops," Trivedi said, a day after he returned to the national capital after touring the ambush area in south Bastar`s Tongpal for an on-spot assessment.
He said the SOPs, in an operational area, are meant to be flexible keeping in mind the emerging and immediate threat and dynamic activity on the ground.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) chief said the force headquarters has issued some fresh directives to commanders while operating in the Naxal affected areas.
"I will not go into the details of our operational tactics but yes we have told our men and officers that we should break the monotonous drills while rendering routine duties like that of road opening and frequently visiting an area.
"We have told them to keep flexibility in their operations so that their movement remains unknown till the last moment," the DG said.
Terming the latest ambush a "planned attack" by close to 200 Naxals, Trivedi said the Naxals used an assortment of looted police weapons like LMGs and SLRs to inflict causalities on the 45-personnel strong joint forces squad which was out early morning on Tuesday in one the most notorious Maoist violence affected areas of the state, which is in the `Jeeram Ghati` area.
This is the same place where the ultras had killed the top leadership of state Congress last year in May.