Dantewada massacre: `CRPF violated all norms`

The CRPF battalion which lost 76 men in Dantewada violated every basic rule of operation.

Updated: May 06, 2010, 00:02 AM IST

Raipur: The CRPF battalion which lost 76 men
in the deadliest Maoist attack in Dantewada violated every
basic rule of operation and became sitting ducks by not
proceeding with its area domination mission as planned,
according to available evidence.

Documents that were made available to the one-member
probe headed by E N Rammohan into the April six attack during
his recent visit to Dantewada in Chattisgarh suggested that
the CRPF company invited trouble by staying put in one single
place for an entire day, sources in the know of events before
the attack said today.

According to the sources, the 81-member CRPF team along
with a head-constable of Chattisgarh police did not leave for
its mission on April four at the time--1900 hours-- mentioned
in the log book.

The personnel comprising companies of the CRPF`s 62nd
battalion in fact started moving into jungle areas only at
0500 hours the next day despite instructions not to venture
into forests during early morning hours, the sources said.

Information in the documents, which were accessed, showed
that the CRPF company had spent its entire day in the same
ground where they fell to the bullets of the Naxalites in the
wee hours of April six.

Senior personnel in the CRPF team had even summoned some
people including the head of the nearby village--Mukram-- and
asked for large utensils for preparing the meals for the
entire group, the sources said.

As per the operational drill, the CRPF and the police
personnel have been strictly asked not to take any help from
the villagers or locals and maintain as much as secrecy as
possible while moving out.

The element of secrecy was missing in the operation as
the CRPF company after spending the entire day in the ground
shifted to a nearby "Ashram", a hostel, besides ordering the
villagers to bring cots and other material, the sources said.

The one-member committee had also interviewed the
villagers of Mukaram who had corroborated the findings of a
quick internal inquiry into the massacre which took place in
the wee hours of April six killing 76 of the 82 personnel.

The CRPF battalion was to have to been positioned atop a
small hillock near the ground by dusk time, which was
important for tactical reasons including area domination.

The team after going through a short distance in the wee
hours of the fateful day were returning to the ground where
they were present the previous day in search of the wireless
set belonging to a senior officer of the company when the
Maoist attack place.

The Centre had ordered an enquiry by Rammohan who
submitted his report on April 26 in which he talked about lack
of coordination between the Chattisgarh Police and the CRPF.