New Delhi: The Maoist attack earlier this week on a bus carrying civilians and special police officers (SPOs) in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh could have been deadlier if the guerrillas had detonated the bomb a few seconds later because two more vehicles loaded with security men were following the ill-fated bus, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said.
Pillai said he had "no doubt" that Maoists made a mistake when they saw saw some SPOs in the bus and detonated the bomb that left over 30 people, including civilians,
"I have no doubt that Maoists made a mistake. Behind this bus there was a truck carrying SPOs and behind that there was a Balero (SUV) also carrying SPOs. They made the mistake of attacking the civilian bus because they saw some SPOs there. And they forgot about the civilians or they don`t care about civilians," Pillai told reporters.
He said the casualties could have been more "because if they had allowed the bus to go they would have got the truck. But they saw the first thing and made the mistake," .
Asked how were the SPOs, carrying arms, allowed to use the civilian bus, Pillai said, "Normally they travel in their own buses. But in this case there were not enough government vehicles to take them."
SPOs are not regular policemen but are are recruited from the local population to assist the police and paramilitary forces in their anti-insurgency operations.
Pillai said no special investigation has been ordered to probe the attack.