Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Brazen Maoists fire upon Dantewada, 3 other CRPF camps

Shivanand Shukla | Raipur

In what is being described as “harassment fire”, Left-wing guerrillas fired gunshots at four different camps of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Dantewada district late on Monday. The CRPF personnel immediately returned the fire. Till late at night, there were no reports of any casualty from either side, police said.

Police sources said that the outlaws first fired at the Bheji-based CRPF camp. After this, three other camps — based in Chintalgufa, Polampalli and Arrabore — were fired upon by the Maoists from some distance. The incidents of firing took place in quick succession – some reports say the attacks were simultaneous — apparently to cause panic among the security personnel, who are already under trauma after losing 76 of their brothers-in-arms in Tarmetla.

“The firing at the four CRPF camps was basically aimed at creating a psychological pressure on the security personnel who are involved in anti-Maoist operations,” a top police official said. After massacring 76 security personnel on April 6, the rebels had fired last Saturday at the one-man probe team of EN Rammohan, a former Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF), who was investigating the Tarmetla carnage. “The Maoists are making all efforts to demoralise the forces after having caused the biggest-ever loss to the CRPF in Tarmetla,” said an officer.

Another motive behind the firing, police sources felt, could be to provoke security personnel into taking hasty decisions to move into the nearby jungles so they could again be trapped in an ambush. However, security personnel have been given strict instructions not to react in haste and remain calm in the event of any provocation caused by the Left-wing rebels, sources added.

“Whatever the Maoists’ motives, the security forces are alert to face any situation…. Even after coming under the Maoist fire at the four CRPF camps on Tuesday night, security personnel resisted the attack and bravely returned the fire. But the rebels had melted into the forests under the cover of darkness by then,” State DGP Vishwa Ranjan said.

Significantly, the incidents of firing by Maoists are taking place in Chhattisgarh even when an investigation is in progress to ascertain the factors leading to the killing of 76 securitymen.

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