CRPF men `sitting ducks` in Chattisgarh attack: Experts
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 06, 2010, 19:32
New Delhi: Security experts raised questions on the Government's anti-Naxal strategy after one of the biggest Maoist attack in the country on Tuesday in which the dead CRPF men in Chattisgarh were "sitting ducks."

As stunned authorities groped for reasons as to what went wrong, the experts blamed poor intelligence and apparent lack of coordination between para-military forces and state police for the massacre in which 73 hapless and unsuspecting security men perished in a blast and hail of bullets fired by Maoists during an ambush. It was also felt that Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) was not followed.

All but one of the 73 victims in the attack in the hotbed of Naxal insurgency in Dantewada, about 600 km from the state capital of Raipur, this morning were from the CRPF.

"Anti-Naxal strategy is a flop strategy. It is totally flop. Somebody has picked up the strategy from some book and forced it down on the paramilitary forces who are obedient servants and they never objected to what is thrusted on them," K P S Gill, an ex-security advisor to the Chhattisgarh government, said.

"You are sending 100 people in a forested area where the terrain is not known to them very well. Up to four days, they are sitting ducks," he said.

Gill, who is credited with flushing out militancy in Punjab, was very critical of the anti-landmine vehicle used by the forces in the Naxal-affected regions, saying it is a "death trap".

"Everyone in the vehicle, if it is a mine attack, will die either because of the explosion or when he comes out of the vehicle in the ambush," he said.

Chattisgarh Chief Minister W Raman Singh said the high intensity of the blast could be gauged from the fact that the anti-landmine vehicle of the CRPF men was completely damaged.

Former BSF DGP Prakash Singh is of the view that there was clear lack of intelligence and complacency among the ranks of CRPF and state police.

"Both CRPF and local police have been to some extent complacent. Otherwise, ambush on such a big scale normally does not happen unless you are very negligent and very very complacent about your movement. You have not taken the precautions which are required to be taken while operating in such areas," Singh said.

He said there has been some laxity on part of the CRPF if they were ambushed from both sides.

"If they were ambushed from both sides, if IEDs were blown up obviously there has been a lack of intelligence the local police cannot escape responsibility," Singh said.

Singh blamed the CRPF for increasing the manpower but not taking care of their equipment, training and discipline along side.

"New battalions are being the same time proper training of the men, their equipment, communication, vehicle, all that has not gone alongside. The government has just raised the extra battalions at a break neck speed," he lamented.


First Published: Tuesday, April 06, 2010, 19:32

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