Thursday, April 08, 2010

'No one to blame for ambush, part of fighting a war'

Soumittra S Bose, TNN, Apr 9, 2010, 03.22am IST

JAGDALPUR: Though it was a tactical error costing 76 CRPF men their lives in a Naxal ambush in the Tarmetola forests on Tuesday, Chhattisgarh director general of police Vishwa Ranjan said no single person has been held responsible for it.

"We have not rebuked any officer or jawan," he told TOI on Thursday. With a series of major setbacks, including loss of lives of senior officers, the cops seem to have started taking the ongoing tussle with the rebels as a matter of routine. However, there are many voices that echo emptiness rather than a resolve.

The DGP, who visited the site of the encounter with senior CRPF officials on Thursday, said that confidence of the force would not be affected despite the huge loss. "The morale gets affected when blame is pinned on somebody," he said. "But we have not allowed that to happen."

Indicating that the confidence has not been dented, Ranjan said: "Our men fought bravely for two hours. There are several manoeuvres and counter- manoeuvres. In a battlefield, casualties are bound to happen. Here, the mistake we made was not to come to grips with the situation quickly."

A chat with a constable from the Kukanar (in Dantewada tehsil) police station, confirmed Ranjan's words. "Violence perpetrated by the Maoists are regular features in the state. This was (referring to the recent casualties) something big, but such occurrences of different scale keep happening," said the constable. "The grassroots fighters have to face the brunt because they are present in the field. Police personnel cannot afford to get on the backfoot."

No comments: