New Delhi, April 30: Days after the deadly Sukma encounter in which 26 CRPF jawans lost their lives in Maoist violence, the top officers have decided to suspend the Road Opening Party duties for the jawans in the Naxal-infested areas. According to a report, the decision was taken to enable the jawans to focus more on operations.
26 jawans had been martyred and 6 were grievously injured when the Maoists ambushed army officials in Chattisgarh Sukma district. The jawans were a part of 99-member road opening party. Apparently, the were having their lunch when the militants sent villagers for reconnaissance, and then, 300-400 Naxals opened fire from automatic rifles. The jawans were sitting ducks, but still fought their way out.
A road opening party is a team that patrols a road and clears it of any threat. The team checks that no ambush is being allowed. The ROP at Sukma had been opening the road for further construction.
The Maoist attack attracted national condemnation. The Modi government at the Centre and the Raman Singh government in the state came under pressure for not being able to rein in Naxals.