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CRPF dug its own grave in Dantewada: Report

Last updated on: May 5, 2010 17:54 IST

Image: Policemen look at the bodies of CRPF men, who were killed in a Maoist attack at Dantewada
Photographs: Reuters

The Central Reserve Police Force battalion, which lost 76 men in the deadliest Maoist attack in Dantewada, violated every basic rule of operation and became sitting ducks by not proceeding with its area domination mission as planned, according to available evidence.

Documents that were made available to the one-member probe headed by E N Rammohan into the April six attack during his recent visit to Dantewada in Chattisgarh suggested that the CRPF company invited trouble by staying put in one single place for an entire day, sources in the know of events before the attack said on Wednesday.


Logbook records were wrong

Image: Bodies of policemen who were killed in a Maoist attack, seen lying on the ground
Photographs: Reuters

According to the sources, the 81-member CRPF team along with a head-constable of Chattisgarh police did not leave for its mission on April four at the time -- 1900 hours -- mentioned in the logbook.

The personnel comprising companies of the CRPF's 62nd battalion in fact started moving into jungle areas only at 0500 hours the next day despite instructions not to venture into forests during early morning hours, the sources said.

Information in the documents, which were accessed, showed that the CRPF company had spent its entire day in the same ground where they fell to the bullets of the Naxalites in the wee hours of April 6.


CRPF presence was no secret

Image: Bodies of CRPF men being removed from a vehicle in Jagdalpur

Senior personnel in the CRPF team had even summoned some people, including the head of the nearby village Mukram -- and asked for large utensils for preparing the meals for the entire group, the sources said.

As per the operational drill, the CRPF and the police personnel have been strictly asked not to take any help from the villagers or locals and maintain as much as secrecy as possible while moving out.

Tactical norms were violated

Image: Doctors attend to a policeman who was wounded in the attack

The element of secrecy was missing in the operation as the CRPF company after spending the entire day in the ground shifted to a nearby "Ashram", a hostel, besides ordering the villagers to bring cots and other material, the sources said.

The one-member committee had also interviewed the villagers of Mukaram who had corroborated the findings of a quick internal inquiry into the massacre, which took place in the wee hours of April six killing 76 of the 82 personnel.

CRPF team failed to achieve area domination

Image: A video grab shows a policeman, wounded in the attack, being rushed to a hospital

The CRPF battalion was to have to been positioned atop a small hillock near the ground by dusk time, which was important for tactical reasons, including area domination.

The team after going through a short distance in the wee hours of the fateful day were returning to the ground where they were present the previous day in search of the wireless set belonging to a senior officer of the company when the Maoist attack place.

The Centre had ordered an enquiry by Rammohan who submitted his report on April 26 in which he talked about lack of coordination between the Chattisgarh Police and the CRPF.