By Divya Kumar Soti
Dantewada has emerged as a disaster zone over last few months for security forces and their attempts at curbing Maoist violence. The massacre of CRPF troopers in Dantewada and recent landmine blast targeting a passenger bus carrying Special Police Officers (SPOs) triggered heated debates in
The roots of unexpected outcomes of OP Green hunt lies in our national attitude towards
Maoist problem and our history of political bewilderment in early phases of any internal security challenge. The blowing up of railway tracks, looting of warehouses in
Dantewada incident throws light on casual approach with which OP Green Hunt is being conducted. Although, much has been written and said about reasons behind painful massacre of CRPF Company, a more candid effort is attempted in following lines. The CRPF convoy was very badly configured. Usually a forward clearing party moves ahead to look for any mines or ambush in such a zone. The main convoy shall maintain a gap of 100-200 meters from clearing party. This was not the case with ill fated convoy. The company was moving on vague information of Maoist presence.In Dantewada jungles, guerilla movements are too agile. Information received six hours back may be stale for conducting a localized operation. But this does not mean that intelligence is a useless commodity as Chattisgarh DGP told a TV News Channel after the incident. He said that- “There was no intelligence failure. This is a battle zone. Intelligence in general sense does not matter much. We develop it on field and rely more on force than on intelligence.”
There is a difference between intelligence failure and miscarriage of intelligence. What is needed is not plain intelligence but real time intelligence. In today’s circumstances, Central forces are not in the position of ‘developing intelligence during operation’ in a region like Bastar. This highlights the urgent need of aerial reconnaissance so that that raw information can be readily verified.
The massacre of CRPF Company was attributed to ‘tactical blunders’. Subjectively speaking this is true to a great extent but objectively, the flaws in whole anti-naxal strategy are to be blamed. The whole debacle depicts how casually things were taken and how casually troops operate on bad briefs.
(Divya Kumar Soti is a security affairs analyst and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)