Sukma attack: Role of Maoist-turned-police DRG to be examined
After the horrific attack on CRPF troopers in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that “we will not let the soldiers' sacrifice go in vain”. He said that Left Wing Extremists were the biggest enemies of the country and assured that their end is near.
Singh, however, admitted that there is a need to change the strategy to counter this threat. He said that a meeting of representatives from Maoist-affected states will be held in Delhi on May 8. The aim will be to chalk out a plan to eliminate Left Wing insurgents.
Singh also held a meeting with the Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh and senior officials after paying tribute to the martyrs from the CRPF fourth battalion.
He said that he wants the morale of the security personnel to be high in all circumstances, even after the cowardly attack by the Maoists.
Singh assured the personnel that the government is committed to fighting the Maoists. He urged the troops to continue helping construct the road in Sukma and stay steadfast in this fight.
Rajnath seeks comprehensive report
After every incident, the government reiterates the need to carry out joint operations and strengthen the intelligence network.
In the meeting on Tuesday, officers told the Home Minister that two teams of the 74th Battalion of the CRPF had been dispatched to ensure the security of the road between Burqapal and Chintagufa. The Maoists began firing at the forces at a spot one and a half kilometers away from Burkal village. The security forces also responded.
The Home Minister said that they should submit a proper report that examines the site of the attack provides explanations why such an attack happened and offer ways on how to deal with Maoists.
The police officials left for Sukma soon after the Home Minister’s directive.
On being asked what the strategy would be, Singh replied “If we disclose the strategy, then it wouldn't be a strategy, would it?”
But it is clear that the strategy will be decided on the basis of the report on the Sukma attack.
The Home Minister said that the attack was a result of a failure in communication and at a time of crisis, the focus shouldn't be on assigning blame.
On the government's failure in appointing a Director General for the CRPF, Singh said “there is no shortage of leadership. A senior officer has to be appointed”.
Maoist fortress destroyed?
After the meeting, Chief Minister Raman Singh said that the attack was sign of frustration on the part of the Maoists as their fortress was being destroyed
“Dornapal, Chintalgufa and Jagargunda were considered to be safe zones for Maoists, but the government has managed to penetrate these areas through its development efforts. Maoists feel that their fortress is being destroyed. Whatever they do, they're plans will never be successful,” Raman Singh said.
Shivram Kalluri, an IG rank officer who is credited with eliminating Maoists from the Surguja region had been posted in Bastar for some time. But strangely, he wasn't invited to the meeting with the Home Minister.
This officer usually gives statements on every small incident in Bastar but he has remained silent after this incident.
Even the anti-Maoist outfits in Bastar who are often in the news for various reasons, have offered no comment on the Sukma attack. In the meeting, questions were raised about the role played by the District Reserve Group (DRG), that is the Maoist-turned-police personnel.
DRG responsible for safety of equipment
A senior officer who was posted in Bastar forced several Maoists to surrender in a demoralising manner. Allegedly, they went on to commit several excesses in the region.
In the Gompad area of Bastar, when a woman named Madkam Hidme was raped and murdered, her relatives kept saying that security forces as well as people involved in Maoist activities had come earlier inquiring about her.
Normally, when the CRPF troops go for patrolling, they are accompanied by DRG members who show them the route. But on the day of the attack, April 24, the CRPF personnel came to protect the road accompanied only by one person from the district police.
Sources say that the CRPF jawans were protecting the roads during the day and at night the construction equipment was being guarded by the DRG.
According DM Awasthi, Special DG for anti-Naxal operations, it is difficult to pinpoint the mastermind behind the attack, but it is clear that the role of DRGs will be investigated.