Tuesday, July 14, 2009

‘V-shaped’ ambush: Chhattisgarh cops walked into a death trap

Vikram Sharma
First Published : 14 Jul 2009 01:39:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

HYDERABAD: It was a three-kilometre-long death trap laid by the outlawed Maoists between Khoregaon and Karkoti villages in Chhattisgarh that left several policemen, including Rajnandgaon district SP Vinod Kumar Choubey, dead in the worst-ever Naxal ambush in the state on Sunday. The sources told Express that the Maoists had spread out all over the three-kilometre stretch several hours before the attack.


“In the morning, the Maoists killed two personnel of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) in Madanwada (where the SP took a contingent of police personnel later). Neither the SP nor senior officials had the slightest inkling of the widespread presence of Maoists. They dropped no hint (in the morning) that they were all over the stretch and in large numbers,” a police official said.

Describing it as a ‘V-shaped’ ambush (from both sides), he said the Maoists had planned their operation in such a manner that they allowed the forces to come at least two km inside the trap and then, all of sudden resorted to heavy firing and triggered landmines.

“Those who thought they could escape from the Maoists began retreating. But they found themselves under a hail of bullets all through the stretch,” the sources said, adding that there were over 700 heavily armed Maoists and it was a clear trap. But for slain SP Vinod Kumar Choubey, it was just bad luck.

The sources said that after going close to the scene of the battle, his car driver was shot at.

“He returned to Manpur police station, a few kilometres away, to get reinforcements and once again arrived at the spot with 60 personnel, under the impression that there were only a group of Maoists. As he led the force into the well-laid trap, he too, like the others, had no escape,” the sources said. They said that a large number of Maoists had fled towards Maharashtra, particularly Gadchiroli. Choubey did not have a bulletproof vehicle, just like his counterparts in many Naxal-infested districts.

“Almost all districts, excluding Raipur, have a strength of 400 personnel.

If one has to get more personnel, the communication systems, including poor phone connectivity, delay reinforcements by several hours,” sources said.

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