Chhattisgarh Police failed to provide intelligence prior to Sukma attack, says CRPF

Several senior CRPF officials believe that Sukma attack was partially a result of lackadaisical wok by Chhattisgarh Police, who failed to provide any intelligence to forces before the fatal ambush on April 24.

In an elaborate postmortem of the worst naxal attack in Burkapal, team of senior officers of CRPF feel that its personnel who were caught off guard were not sitting ducks.

However some sources say that the CRPF team was let down by Chhattisgarh Police, who failed to provide the intelligence. It is because anti-naxal operations are also based on local intelligence generated by state police.

'NAXALS HAD INFORMED THE LOCALS ON TIME'

Senior officials speaking to India Today on condition of anonymity, said "The naxals had fore-warned villagers from venturing out of their homes on April 24."

According to senior officials, the village was nearly empty at the time of the fatal ambush.

The house of tribals became hiding spots for Maoists who fired at the reinforcement team from either side of the road.

'NEED TO CHANGE PREDICTABLE PATTERN OF CRPF'

Another senior officer said, "As per Standard Operating Procedure, state police needs to have at least 33 per cent of the strength of CRPF, but in Sukma, on most occasions, there is barely even one."

Police stations in Maoist hot beds like the one closest to Burkapal, Chintagufa police station is inside the CRPF campus, leaving no scope for generating intelligence.

Though a high level inquiry is underway examining the Sukma attack, several senior officials say that despite initial setback, the soldiers fired and killed several Maoists.

As compared to March 11, 2014 when 15 soldiers were killed with little defence, there has been major improvement in the retaliatory action from forces under barrage of gunfire.

But, there is need to improve tactical response to Maoist fire power, and dire need to change predictable patterns of patrolling, say officials.

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Also read: Sukma attack: How CRPF jawans walked into 'kill zone' set up by Naxals