Lack of coordination among security forces made Maoist ambush of Congr

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by bhramos, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Mar 21, 2009
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    Lack of coordination among security forces made Maoist ambush of Congress convoy a success

    Mahendra Karma, availing Z plus security cover, had of late developed a queer sense of security. The Raman Singh government had provided him a bullet proof vehicle, a pilot vehicle and deployed as many as 60 security personnel at his house.

    Karma used to take along as many as he wanted from that pool of security personnel whenever he travelled. But, of late, Karma had started thinking he was safer to travel light and pass off as nobody among a group of leaders.

    On May 25 too, Karma preferred to sit in a SUV driven by a businessman with just one bodyguard in the backseat while a couple more in a trailing vehicle.

    He also thought of avoiding travelling during night hours. A room was booked for him for his night stay at Jagdalpur, 50 kms from the scene of the attack.

    Karma had reasons to think out of the box. The Maoists in Chhattisgarh had once again started targeting Salwa Judum (SJ) men. They had killed seven SJ men in 2012 against one in 2011.

    In November 8 2012, Karma too survived a landmine blast in Dantewada district that left his driver and two security guards injured.

    Since then, the Congress leader had started avoiding his BP car on Naxal stretches for two reasons - it made him easily identifiable and could not have protected him in case of landmine blast because the vehicle's belly was not armoured.

    But, if Karma's ingenuity made him a sitting duck when Naxalites ambushed the Congress convoy in the serpentine Darba valley, sloppy policing also facilitated the Naxalites ambush.

    According to Viswaranjan, former Director General of Police in Chhattisgarh, the road was not sanitised, as no Road Opening Party was sent ahead of the Congress convoy to crosscheck the road.

    "Besides road sanitisation, a convoy of important leaders passing through an area dominated by Maoists must have been backed with flank security on both sides of the road in addition to front, middle and rear fire power. This was clearly missing in this case," he said.

    There were two companies of Paramilitary forces in the area: one around 10 kms from the ambush site and the other camp located at a distance of 14 kms in the other direction.

    Similarly, two police stations are also there at almost similar distance in both direction, but none could reach in time. The cops took three hours to reach the ambush site, as they walked on foot fearing booby-traps. In fact, local media persons reached earlier, a top source in Raipur conceded.

    The paramilitary forces always depend on local cops for area information. But, the existing level of coordination between the two groups of law enforcers has left a lot to be desired in Chhattisgarh.

    The police and the paramilitary forces are passing the buck while holding the other group responsible for not sanitising the road that Congress convoy took.

    In January 2013 too, the Indian Air Force had blamed CRPF and State police for not sanitising the forest area in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district when an IAF chopper sent to evacuate came under heavy naxal fire that forced the pilots to crash-land.

    The two air force personnel ran to a CRPF camp leaving behind an injured jawan in the chopper. He was rescued later.

    The Naxalites shoot and scoot operation means many things for different people. However, it has most tellingly exposed the fantasy of having contained violence in Chhattisgarh, said a top IB source.

    Chhattisgarh has recorded its lowest ever fatalities of 46 security personnel in 2012. It was a sharp decline from 80 in 2011. On the other hand, the Maoist casualties went up to 38 against 34 in 2011.

    All this has led the government with a misleading satisfaction of having contained the Maoists better than before.

    The Intelligence Bureau, however, has dissected the trend, which has brought them to a disturbing revelation that the security forces are avoiding confrontations with Maoists across the country, including Chhattisgarh.

    The decline in violence and casualty figures in the last two years does not mean that the security forces have started dominating the terrain. IB assessments have revealed that the paramilitary forces and the local police both are trying their best to not to take the Maoists head-on.

    "The number of anti-Maoists offensives has gone down. The paramilitary are satisfied with their area-domination exercises -in which they go to a jungle village and return to their camp before sunset - while the local police are seldom interested in eliminating Maoists," said IB sources in Raipur.

    If you go through the figure of fatalities, the Maoists have always killed more security personnel than the number of men they have lost. One of the reasons is that they always have the surprise element because they are the one who ambush security personnel and not the other way round.

    A closer look of the casualty figures reveals a disturbing statistics. "The trend is consistent - across the country and in all the States. The security personnel have always lost more men than the number of Maoists they have killed. The Maoists always has had a clear upper hand," the officer said.

    In 2007, 236 security personnel were killed against 136 Naxalites. The toll was 231 security personnel against 199 Naxalites in 2008, a total of 220 Naxalites were killed in 2009 but they killed 317 security personnel.

    In 2010, as many as 172 Naxalites were killed against 285 security personnel. In the last two years, the number of killing has gone down from both sides.

    99 naxalites were killed in 2011 against 142 security personnel while 74 Naxalites were killed against 114 security personnel. At the country level, 1325 security personnel have died in last five years against 905 Naxalites.

    The ratio was even worse in Chhattisgarh. The Naxalites killed 708 security personnel between 2007 and 2012 - more than half of the total casualties in India - and lost only 439 men.

    If we add the number of 3031 civilians killed in Naxal violence in the country, it is clear that the Maoists are killing at least six times the number of people than their own casualties.

    UB sources also confirm that while the statistics reveal that Maoists violence has gone down in Chhattisgarh, in sync with the trend visible in the country, other details question the highly touted assertions of State dominating over Naxalites.

    For instance, the number of Jan Adalat -which requires absolute control in areas where the Maoists hold Kangaroo courts-have gone up from 13 in 2011 to 16 in 2012 in Chhattisgarh.

    The Salva Judum - tribals drawn from Chhatisgarh villages were being armed to fight Naxalites - has also been found counter-productive. The State provided arms to untrained villager and appointed 4,000 of them as Special Police Officers.

    But, the ill-equipped and poorly trained men proved no match to the Maoists fire power.

    "The police and the paramilitary needed to launch a full-throttle offensive against the Maoist. Instead, they took the backseat and put the poorly trained armed tribal in front.

    The result was disastrous, and it only helped the Maoists. Sources in Raipur confirmed that when Salva Judum was launched in 2005, the Maoists had only two killing squads stationed in Chhattisgarh. By 2007, they consolidated their strength and formed as many as 9 squads as a reaction.

    "A sustained State offensive would have had forced Maoists to disband and escape or get killed. But, the adventurous SJ activists could at best harm the Maoists foot-soldiers. It also helped them regroup, consolidate and bounce back. This was a strategic error," said a top IB officer.

    A closer IB scrutiny has revealed bigger mess in police operations.

    "There are no more than 10,000 armed Maoist cadre in the country. They are no match to our firepower. In Chhattisgarh alone, we have over 30,000 personnel of Central paramilitary personnel deployed." That leads to a second bigger question; why have the naxalites not been reined in. Clearly, there is no intent on the part of security forces.

    The bigger trouble lies within. A deeper scrutiny has revealed even more disturbing flaws in the system.

    "While combating Maoists is expected to be the job of Central paramilitary forces (CPMF), they are led by Commanding Officers (CO); who because of their age group, often have different priorities. A CO is usually in the 40-47 age brackets. This is the time when a man starts thinking about his child's career. He thinks about retiring safely and his capacity and inclination for offensives get sufficiently reduced," said the IB Officer.

    Besides, the cost of offensives is equally high. The officer almost invariably faces departmental proceedings if his company lose men in anti-Naxal offensives. Questions like if he had taken permission, shared intelligence with district cops or followed security drills are slapped on him.

    "One departmental proceeding linger for about five years and often soils the CO's ACR. Clearly, the officers tasked to lead a paramilitary company have neither the motivation nor age to launch offensives or penetrate into Naxal strongholds. So, while the academic thrust is on offensives and hot pursuit, the officers on the ground do everything to avoid confrontations with the Maoists," said the Officer.

    Former DGP, Chhattisgarh, Viswaranjan also claim that the number of operation against Maoists has gone down significantly in the State in the last two years. This can even be proved statistically.

    Ironically, 2011 and 2012 have been the two years when casualty of security personnel in Chhattisgarh has been gone down significantly, raising false hopes that they have succeeded in reining in the rebels.

    The fact is, the Maoists also like the inaction of the security forces and have done little to disturb the status quo. They have used the time to regroup and strengthen. This has become a cause of considerable alarm.

    Ironically, while the Centre is pushing in more paramilitary forces to step up operations against Maoists, the rebels are unlikely to face a sustained hit. Chhattisgarh and its neighbour Jharkhand are slated to face election this year.

    Another neighbouring State Odisha will have assembly election next year. This is the period when political leadership are known to dole out goodies and not launch pursuits. The Maoists still have many safe passages.
    Chhattisgarh flip-flop on Maoists

    - January 27, 2009: Raman Singh offered to hold peace talks with Maoists. The first peace talk experience with extremists had failed in Andhra Pradesh in 2004. Officers believe Raman Singh's peace talk offer, which was only mocked at by the Maoists, was ill-timed at a time when security forces were making rapid progress against Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

    - May, 2009: When the CM's offer made no impact, Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar ruled out negotiations with the extremists.

    - October 2009, Raman Singh also retracted and promised to neutralise the Maoists.

    - The Maoists ended up killing 121 security personnel in 2009 against 2008 figure of 67.

    - January 2010: State police announced a new strategy of packing small areas with security personnel and force out the Maoists. The area to be developed after Maoists retreat and then the security forces were to move to new area. Maoists responded by killing 153 policemen in 2010 in the state, second highest toll after 182 killings in 2007

    - Chhattisgarh witnessed a dramatic decline in fatalities in Maoist-related violence. But, the decline of violence is not a true parameter for assessing Maoist dominance or capacity.

    - Chhattisgarh even remained largely peaceful while other states witnessed a spate of violence in reaction to the killing of Maoist politburo member Koteswara Rao alias Kishanji on November 24, 2011. This was construed as an indicator that the Maoists then used Chhattisgarh as their base camp and therefore unleashed limited violence, seeking not to attract security forces

    - In 2011 and 2012 the Maoists have strategically consolidated to show their might in the election year 2013 while Security Forces avoided confrontations with the Maoists. The rebels have also set up

    Major Maoists attacks on politicians

    - October, 2003 : Chandrababu Naidu, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh survived landmine blast

    - January 2005: CPI ML MLA Mahendra Singh murdered in Giridih, Jharkhand

    - January 2005, EX MP Rajesh Kumar shot dead in Gaya, Bihar

    - March, 2006: Jharkhand JD-U MLA Khiru Mahto says legislators are bonded labourers to Maoists, forced to protest against "police atrocities" and ask Naxal friendly questions.

    - March 2007: JMM Member of Parliament, Sunil Mahto murdered in Bakuria, Jamshedpur

    - October 2007: Son of ex chief Minister Babulal Marandi and 19 other activists killed in Giridih

    - July 2008: Former Jharkhand Minister Ramesh Singh Munda shot dead

    - September 2011: Maoists kill Odisha BJD MLA Jagbandhu Manjhi and his security guard.

    - March 2012: Odisha BJD MLA Jhina Hikakaabducted, released after 33 days only after he gave a written undertaking that he will quit his assembly seat.

    Some details to ponder upon

    The Naxalites have killed more than six times the number of men they have lost in last five years.
    IB assessments have revealed that the paramilitary forces and the local police both are trying their best to not to take the Maoists head-on, which explains a decline in violence. However, the Maoists have gained ground.
    While the district police are reluctant, the job of combating Maoists is assigned to paramilitary. But, majority of the Commanding Officers (CO) are in the 40-47 age brackets, when they priority shift's to planning academic career of their children, besides making retirement plans.
    Salva Judum has proved counter-productive. The State provided arms to untrained villager and appointed 4,000 of them as Special Police Officers. But, the ill-equipped and poorly trained men proved no match to the Maoists fire power.
    The paramilitary forces and Chhattisgarh local cops are passing the buck while holding the other group responsible for not sanitising the road that Congress convoy took.

    Read more at: Lack of coordination among security forces made Maoist ambush of Congress convoy a success : North, News - India Today
  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
  4. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2010
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    Re: Lack of coordination among security forces made Maoist ambush of C

    its not alone lack of co-ordination but also the over excitement of politicians during election period makes them easily prone for such attacks.
    even rajiv gandhi died during election campaign as he did not give much importance for security

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