Monday, May 17, 2010

'Dantewada ambush was military-style attack'

Aditya Kaul & Gyan Varma / DNA

New Delhi: A scrutiny of events and circumstances leading to the Dantewada massacre has stunned security agencies.

Officials privy to the investigations told DNA about the “military-style” preparations and execution of the attack by Maoists.

Bits and pieces gathered by investigators also revealed that the Chhattisgarh Police had warned senior CRPF officials about Maoist re-grouping, and a possible attack, six days prior to the massacre in Dantewada that left 76 CRPF personnel dead.

A post-massacre scrutiny of the site revealed that Maoists had planned to inflict maximum casualty on security forces. The ultras had placed their men in a formation that looked like ‘C’ around the place of occurrence of the massacre.

“The formation was lie a trap which was made unassailable by the sheer strength of their numbers,” a senior official connected to the probe said.

That Maoists adopted military tactics is also evident from the ambushes they had placed at the upper and lower ends of the road generally taken by the CRPF men, thereby plugging all escape and entry routes. Maoists then took positions on hillocks, becoming strategically stronger.

Investigators discovered glaring discrepancies in the way CRPF men conducted their mission. Security experts observed that the 82-strong CRPF team that went inside the dense jungle made the fatal error of taking the same track while returning to their base camp.

“It was on their return to the camp that the Maoists struck knowing well that the security personnel would be exhausted and sitting ducks,” another officer said.

The CRPF camp was just a few kilometers away from Chintalnar, where the incident happened. “Maoists were aware that reinforcements could come from the camp and they were ready to handle any eventuality. They blew up an armoured vehicle that came from the CRPF camp side thinking it would be full of CRPF personnel,” he said.

Investigators also found that the police station, where the men were stationed, was in a dilapidated condition as it had come under Maoist attack three years ago. The CRPF, which was given the charge to reopen the police station two years ago. They were posted there to provide security cover.

No comments: