CRPF men `sitting ducks` in Chattisgarh attack: Experts

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 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 raised...at 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.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 19:32

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