20 Naxalites killed in encounter with CRPF

drkrn

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police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

Police in India say they have killed 17 Maoist rebels in an overnight clash in the central state of Chhattisgarh.

Six personnel of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were wounded in the clash in the rebel-dominated Bijapur district, they said.

The BBC's Salman Ravi in the state capital, Raipur, says local villagers, mostly tribals, have held a protest, contesting the police claim.

They have alleged that most of those killed were villagers, not insurgents.

The Maoists are active in more than a third of India's 600-odd districts. They say they are fighting for the rights of the poor peasants and labourers.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described them as the biggest internal security challenge facing India.

Fighting started late Thursday night when the policemen were carrying out an operation in the dense forests of Basaguda.

A senior police officer in Bijapur, Prashant Agarwal, told the BBC that they had recovered a large number of arms and ammunition from the area.

Mr Agarwal said only five of the bodies had been identified so far and that they were trying to identity the others.

BBC News - India police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

this is a big setback for Maoists in chattisgarh.now they don't even have a proper place to hide.
 

KS

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Re: police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

It's not 17 -- but 22.
 

Ray

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Re: police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

The BBC's Salman Ravi in the state capital, Raipur, says local villagers, mostly tribals, have held a protest, contesting the police claim.

They have alleged that most of those killed were villagers, not insurgents.
As I have mentioned repeatedly that the Maoists have foreign support!

Even Binayak Sen's case was canvassed by western 'intellectuals'.

I believe he is now in some Committee of the Govt for upliftment!

Does the BBC report the number of Irish the British military killed were not IRA terrorists but innocent town and village folks?

Or of the innocents killed by the British in Afghanistan?

BBC is another arm of British Psy Ops worldwide!
 
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nrj

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In a major crackdown by CRPF, at least 20 Naxalites, including a woman, were killed in a fierce overnight encounter in the dense jungles of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh that left six jawans wounded.

The encounter, which took place in the forests of Silger, an uncharted Maoist zone between the Naxal hotbed of Jagargunda and Basaguda in Bijapur district of Bastar region, was launched on Thursday night in a joint operation by over 300 CRPF and State police personnel from three directions.

Seventeen bodies of the ultras have been recovered from the spot, Chhattisgarh ADG (Naxal operations) Ram Nivas said, adding the combing operations were underway and the toll may rise.

Two Maoists, who were injured in the encounter, were apprehended and have been airlifted for medical treatment to Raipur, a senior CRPF official said.

CRPF officials said two "prominent" Naxals, operating in the Bijapur-Dantewada axis, were also killed in the encounter.



Six CRPF men, including two CoBRA commandos, sustained bullet injuries and have been airlifted for medical aid to Raipur. Two of them are critical, he said.

Keeping in view the tough terrain and presence of a big Naxal squad in mind, the CRPF had deputed a DIG and two commandant rank officers, supported by an additional SP of State police, to lead the operation.



The CRPF has mobilised three units of commandos and regular troops, aided by two helicopters for the encounter from three directions — Jagargunda, Chintalnar and Basaguda.

This is the same area, close to Chintalnar, where Naxals had carried out an audacious attack on security forces killing 75 CRPF men and one State police personnel in April 2010.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3583924.ece?mstac=0

Sent via Tapatalk from a galaxy far far away
 

Ray

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Re: police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

Naxalites recruiting children: U.N report\
A United Nations report has accused the Maoists of recruiting children, especially in Chhattisgarh, and indoctrinating them as part of mass mobilisation in the areas affected by left-wing extremism.

"Maoist [Naxalite] armed groups were recruiting and indoctrinating children, and had constituted children's squads and associations [Bal Dastas, Bal Sangham and Bal Manch] as part of mass mobilisation," said the 2011 Annual Report of the U.N. Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict titled, 'Children and armed conflict.'



Thanks Nrj!
 

Daredevil

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Maoists understand only force. They need to put down by force. Any other measure is going to fail.

From Sandwich Phone
 

drkrn

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naxal sympathizers already started coming on TV and saying killed persons are civilians fighting with bows.
how can a bow cause bullet injury??

20 Maoists killed but only 6 injured from police, seems they were improving and getting acquainted to the conditions very well
 

pmaitra

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Good to hear that no CRPF jawans were killed.
 

ejazr

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Controversy brewing up over the incident with villagers alleging they were civilians. This needs to be tackled smartly by the CRPF commanders in the area.

Day after encounter, villagers say no Maoist among those killed - Indian Express

On Saturday, over 40 hours after the "biggest encounter" involving security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh, bodies of 19 alleged "hardcore Maoists and Jan Militia members" lay outside their huts in the three villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta in Bijapur.

Villagers alleged no government official had spoken to them or visited their homes, and no autopsies had been carried out on the bodies.

Several bodies appeared to have been brutalised. This correspondent saw deep, hacking cuts, apparently made by axes, on some chests and foreheads. A senior CRPF officer rejected the possibility that the wounds might have been inflicted by security forces. "Our forces have never done such things and will never do this," the officer said.

Bijapur superintendent of police Prashant Agarwal said, "Proper post mortem was conducted in Basaguda thana. A team of doctors visited the thana and a report will be prepared."

Policemen at the thana — where the bodies were kept for about 12 hours before being handed to the families — were unable to say when the post mortem happened. No stitches or other tell-tale marks of an autopsy were visible on the bodies that this correspondent saw in the villages.

At Sarkeguda, the spot deep in the Dandakaranya jungles 520 km south of Raipur where the encounter happened, the stench was overpowering. A rotting pig lay nearby, a bullet in its jaw and two in the torso.

Late in the afternoon, one by one, the villagers began to cremate the bodies.

Yesterday, Home Minister P Chidambaram said three important Maoist leaders, Mahesh, Nagesh and Somulu, had been killed in the encounter.

There is no Mahesh in the official list of those killed. There are two Nageshes.

Kaka Nagesh, also called Rahul, was a 17-year-old student of Class 10. His aunt Kamla pointed out his disfigured body. "After shooting at him, the forces took up an axe," she alleged.

The other Nagesh, Madkam Nagesh, was a 32-year-old professional dholak player who was called in to play during festivals, villagers said. He had two young children, and his wife Madkam Shammi is pregnant with their third child.

"When did you ever hear of a Maoist who plays the dholak? Naxali hota to dholak bajaane shaadi mein jaata?" Nagesh's sister Sushila asked.

Irpa Somulu was a marginal farmer who often visited neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for work as a labourer. Somulu and Korsa Bijje (alias Bichham) are the only two people that the Chhattisgarh Police described as Naxals in their assessment sheet, even though they said "six (of those killed) were hardcore Naxals and other hardcore Jan Militia".

Korsa Bijje was an 18-year-old orphan who lived with an uncle.

None of those killed in the encounter had any criminal record at Barsaguda police station, in whose jurisdiction the three villages fall. Policemen at the station said they knew nothing about their being Naxalites. SP Prashant Agarwal said, "They have cases in other thanas. Their record is being prepared."

So, how were they established as Maoists?

Both ADG (Naxal) Ramniwas and CRPF IG (Ops) Pankaj Kumar Singh said villagers had identified the bodies in the morning at Basaguda thana and informed the police that they were Naxals. All the villagers with whom The Sunday Express spoke denied this.

"When did I say my father was a Naxal? To whom did I say this? When did anyone say this? On the contrary, we have repeatedly told the police we are not Naxals, and our relatives are not Naxals either," said Mahesh Irpa, son of Irpa Dharmaiyya.

All the alleged "hardcore Maoists" seemed to have been living with their families in the three villages. The thana is virtually next door, and a large CRPF camp stands only three kilometres away. One of the deceased was a 12-year girl; five were boys aged around 18. The CoBRA team alleged faced "heavy firing" from them for three hours — but could recover only one bharmar (countrymade gun) along with the 19 bodies.

Some villagers suggested that the patrolling forces may have mistaken a routine village meeting at which two "uniformed boys" were present, to be a Maoist gathering.

"We were sitting together around 11 pm on Thursday when suddenly the forces surrounded us and began firing. I threw myself flat on the ground and was somehow not hit," eyewitness Madkam Rama said. "Pehle goli chalaayi, fir unhone kulhaadi maari (they fired, and then hacked with axes)," he added.

Said Vella Ram, "Yes, there were two boys who were in uniform, but they were not Naxals. And there was certainly no firing by the villagers. Still, if they had any doubt, they should have questioned us instead of firing."

While CRPF IG (Ops) Pankaj Kumar Singh yesterday conceded that "a few villagers could have been killed", personnel in the area said it was unusual for villagers to meet that late in the night.

But villagers said they did so quite often.

A Maoist leader active in the area told The Sunday Express that none of those killed was a Naxal. "If they (security forces) killed 21 Naxals in one encounter, do you think we would not be able to kill at least some of them? Have they ever killed so many of us in one go?" asked Sandeep, who identified himself as the commander of the Basaguda Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist).
 

Daredevil

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Its now confirmed they are Maoists. Outrage is more when Maoists are killed, when civilians get killed usually there is not much outrage.

From Sandwich Phone
 

Yusuf

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Now they are saying they were innocent people.

DGP of CRPF has said that the Naxals are using human shields.

Some stupid debate on IBN and bleed hearts like Swamy Agnivesh and some Gonzalves.

Swamy Agnivesh is asking for independent inquiry.

The DGs statement on Naxal's using human shield is very important.
 

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More details based on Outlook's investigation on the June 29 incident. Warning, link contains some graphic photos

Story Of An Op Lost | Yashwant Dhote

The 10 minors and 8 adults killed and 4 hurt in Sakerguda on Jun 29, 2012

Hapka Chhotu 12
Kaka Parvati 16
Kaka Rahul 15
Sarke Ramala 16
Hapka Mithu 15
Korsa Bichem 15
Irpa Suresh 16
Kaka Sandhya 12
Kaka Ramesh 15
Madkam Deva 15
Madkam Ramvilas 13
Madkam Nagesh 13
Madkam Mutta 29
Irpa Narayan 29
Madkam Ramesh 27
Irpa Anil 20
Kaka Samaiya 35
Madvi Ayutu 35
Kunjam Malla 40
Madkam Suresh 23
Irpa Gandhi 38
Irpa Chinnaka 35

(Age of victims as recorded in their BPL, ration and voter ID cards).

People who have a nodding acquaintance with tribal communities know them to be poor liars. The more removed they are from urban civilisation, the more incapable they are of manufacturing the truth, often turning up at a police station to confess a crime after committing it. But a group of impoverished Gonds in Bijapur (Chhattisgarh), bordering Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, were stripped of their innocence last week by Union home minister P. Chidambaram. He questioned their claim that security forces massacred 22 unarmed and innocent tribals at Korseguda, a village of 50-odd huts, barely three kilometres from the CRPF camp at Basaguda in the BJP-ruled state.

As day broke on June 29, police claims of a "major breakthrough" in the fight against deadly Maoists had been blown to smithereens: a dozen of those killed were less than 16 years of age; seven had just a "criminal record". Still, Chidambaram could barely conceal his sarcasm when he said he was "deeply sorry" but only "if a completely innocent life was lost". He had already complimented the CRPF on its courage and skill in conducting the operation. He went on to add that the force, "under him", had nothing to hide and, perhaps more importantly, nothing to fear. Although criticised for his "premature articulation", Chidambaram stuck his neck out again to say that the encounter was not only transparent but also justified.

Never at a loss for words, the home minister even kept a straight face when reminded of his cabinet colleague Union tribal affairs minister Kishore Chandra Deo's criticism of the "fake encounter". While Deo went public with his dismay at the massacre, which he described as "completely unacceptable", Chidambaram remained defiant and stuck to his position. "I share the anguish of my cabinet colleague," was all he was prepared to concede even as he ruled out ordering an inquiry. Law and order being a state subject, it was for the Chhattisgarh government to decide if an inquiry was indeed required. For the home ministry, the case was closed.

On his part, CRPF director-general K. Vijay Kumar was even more aggressive in defending the botched operation and the unconsciously high collateral damage. The CRPF, he said in an interview, was not "a rag-tag and irresponsible militia" even while reluctantly conceding the possibility that some innocent lives could have been lost. Bullets, he philosophised, were blind and did not discriminate on grounds of gender or age. It was a dark night, he claimed, and the CRPF contingent, led by a dig, was merely following standard operating procedure in firing to kill when they came under fire. The contrast could not be sharper. In the summer of 2010, in Srinagar, the CRPF bore the brunt of several hundred stone-pelting youth day after day, but mostly held their fire. Excessive collateral damage in Srinagar would have brought the government down, but in Bastar, the massacre was a blip that robbed nobody of sleep.

In both Raipur and in New Delhi, officials shrugged gravely and wondered what else could have been done "in the dead and dark of the night". It was not possible for them to see in the dark, they argued. But had they checked the almanac, they would have found that it was a moonlit night, not pitch dark. Moreover, the CRPF is now equipped with night vision devices and it's unlikely they'd have been on a night operation without night vision binoculars. The excuse just does not wash.

Whatever its top brass may say, there is overwhelming evidence that Op Silgerh ended up as an exercise gone horribly wrong. Not only did it fail in its objective, it also ended up with too many loose ends. It had been in planning for 10 days, relying both on intelligence input and technology to track Maoist movements. The CRPF identified Silgerh, between Basaguda and Jagarmunda, as the place where the Maoists would be meeting. Then 800 armed men set out from three different camps at Basaguda, Jagarmunda and Chintalnar (see graphic) at night. The troops from Jagarmunda were ferried by chopper to an abandoned checkpost in the forest, from where they were to move on foot toward Silgerh.

By the CRPF's own admission, the jawans from Basaguda and Chintalnar did not even reach Silgerh, or reached after daybreak. And when they did, they did not find the training camp they'd set out to bust. Despite all their tracking, the Maoists seemed to have given them the slip. Worse, the troops from Basaguda opened fire on a group of villagers at Sakerguda, barely three km from their camp. The two other encounters that night took place elsewhere and did not involve Op Silgerh men.

There were certainly no Maoists in Sakerguda that night, claims a survivor, Class 10 student Kaka Sarika. Talking to the BBC, she said, "Villagers were sitting in the open, finalising details of an impending festival and discussing who could till the land, when the security forces surrounded us and started firing." Sarika herself tried to run for cover and claims that one of the jawans pinned her to the ground to protect her from the bullets flying overhead. But another jawan, she alleges, tried to misbehave with her. There were several young men and teens, she recalls, who lay writhing on the ground while jawans hurled obscenities at them and grilled them for information.

Village sarpanch Markam Lakshman was away on an errand and escaped the massacre. His absence from the village raises doubts about the "midnight meeting", which the Chhattisgarh government insists was being held to plan a "big attack" on the CRPF. The sarpanch also claims the villagers' meeting was already scheduled and there was no question of Maoist presence.

The BBC correspondent at Raipur, Salman Ravi, told Outlook, "When I visited the place, villagers complained that two of the dead bodies were dressed up in uniform and weapons before being photographed, to make them look like members of the Maoist armed squads." Ravi also found used cartridges fired from Insas rifles and AK-47 assault rifles strewn in the area.

That it was a plan gone awfully wrong was also evident in the photograph of the dead bodies laid on the ground. The still photo shows the dead as rather young, many of them clad in just vests and shorts, frail and poor—a far cry from dreaded "enemies of the state" waging war on the nation.

Civil rights activist Swami Agnivesh recalls that he began getting calls on his phone early on Friday morning, informing him of the massacre of the innocents. "Let there be an independent investigation; either a judicial inquiry or an investigation by an sit," he demanded. But while neither New Delhi nor Raipur seemed in favour of an inquiry saying it would only demoralise the forces, former solicitor-general Soli Sorabjee said an independent inquiry could well vindicate the CRPF's story.

If you see it in a larger context, the encounter could not have come at a worse time. Villagers at Sakerguda, Rajpet and Korseguda—a cluster of hamlets, collectively the Korseguda panchayat—were first evacuated by security forces in 2008, in the wake of the Salwa Judum 'experiment', and allowed to return a year later. The situation was improving gradually and a proactive district magistrate had succeeded in instilling confidence in the people. The unnecessary encounter appears to have set the clock back. It would now take several years before their confidence is restored, say villagers in the area. A newspaper headline summed up the growing public scepticism—'Top Naxals are two 15-yr-old toppers'. Two of the boys, Nagesh and Ramvilas, were among the three students selected by their school to visit Visakhapatnam in January this year. Here, they got their first glimpse of the sea and ships, inspiring the awed duo to dream of becoming mariners. India's "biggest Maoist encounter" brought that dream to a brutal end.

Twenty-year-old Sarita, the first woman from the village to be pursuing a professional course in BSc (Nursing) in Jagdalpur, 220 km away, lost her brother, Kaka Samaiya, in the encounter. "First they kill us," she says, "then tell us we are Naxals. Search the entire village and see if you can find even a single weapon. Can't they at least say sorry?"

Grain, Chaff & The Truth

A few unanswered questions...

Police claim: The encounter took place past midnight. CRPF sources claim to have started off on foot from their camp at Basaguda, barely three km away from the encounter spot, at 9 pm on June 28.
Counterclaim: Villagers ask if very fit CRPF men require three hours or more to traverse 3 km. They say some of the villagers were killed at 6 am.
Police claim: Maoists, who had managed to escape after firing at troops, were holding a midnight meeting
Counterclaim: The troops from Basaguda were headed for Silgerh, 12 km away, where the Maoists were allegedly meeting. Would the Maoists have relocated to Sakerguda, three km from the CRPF camp, and invited an encounter? Villagers claim they were meeting to finalise details of an impending festival and decide who'd till the plots abandoned by people who had moved away from the village.
Police claim: It was a dark night; it was difficult to see
Counterclaim: June 28 was a moonlit night, according to the almanac. The CRPF forces are also armed with night vision binoculars. The excuse doesn't wash.
Police claim: Seven of the dead were Maoists
Counterclaim: As many as 22 people were killed that night, 18 of them at Sakerguda. The rest were killed in two other encounters elsewhere in the district. Officials claim seven of them had 'police or criminal records'. The majority, by implication, were innocent. Villagers say all were innocent, lived in the village and had BPL, ration cards or voter ID cards.
Police claim: We too sustained injuries. Six CRPF jawans were injured.
Counterclaim: Two of the jawans were injured when they slipped and fell to the ground. Two others wounded by pellets. The remaining two sustained bullet injuries. Villagers claim they were shot by troops which had surrounded the villagers.
Police claim: A proper post-mortem was conducted
Counterclaim: A team of three doctors—an orthopaedist, a child specialist and an MBBS doctor—conducted post-mortem in the open. They identified the entry and exit points of bullets, most of them above the waist, photographed the bodies and allowed them to be cremated.
 

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Stories of the Dead - Indian Express


excerpt from the article above . . .


Kottaguda village

1Saraswati. 12 years. The youngest victim. No Naxal record. Never went to school. Stayed at home or played in the fields. Her family does not have any belonging of hers left. Mother Kaka Sinakka searches for her photograph, fails. They cremated everything along with her body a few hundred metres away. Father Kaka Rama is a marginal farmer, grows mostly rice and tamarind.

2Kaka Samaiyya. 35-40 years. No Naxal record. Survived by four children and wife Kaka Negi. His sister Kaka Sarita, 20, is the first girl in many villages in the region to study beyond class XII and take admission in a professional course. She is studying for her BSc (Nursing) 220 km away, in Jagdalpur, and lives in a hostel. She returned home a day after the incident. She doesn't know when or how she will resume her studies.

3Kaka Nagesh alias Rahul. 15 years. A class X student of a government residential school in neighbouring Basaguda, "he was the brightest among us", says classmate Irpa Sandeep. Rahul, Sandeep and Madkam Ramvilas, another teenager who was killed in the encounter, visited Visakhapatnam on an education tour organised by the school in January. Awed by the sea and the ships in the coastal town, he instantly dreamt of becoming a mariner. He was good at mathematics and villagers say they had called him to the meeting that night to calculate the amount required per head for Beej Pundum, a village function. In his notebook were calculations he had made a month ago for the function.

In his press conference after the encounter, Home Minister P Chidambaram called Rahul an "important Naxal". He faced two cases. One, on October 24, 2009, when he was 12 and, according to the police, fired at the police near the Talperu. Second, for allegedly firing at a police party in December 2011 near Timapur, a nearby village. But for the past three years, Rahul had been living in a hostel adjoining the Basaguda thana and a CRPF camp, but the police never arrested him. Father Kaka Narain died years ago of tuberculosis. Mother Kaka Laxmi and Rahul's three siblings show his newly bought books. Aunt Kamla is a mitanin prerak (midwife trainer) of the panchayat.

4Madkam Ramvilas15 years. No Naxal record.. He was Rahul's classmate. His family says he always got a first division, was good at English. His Sanskrit notebook has a curious entry on the second page: "Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine ka prayog adhunik angrezi mein nahi paya jata hai. Ye shabd ishwar ke liye ya kavita mein prayog ho sakta hai. (Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine are not used in modern English. They can be used for God or in poems)." His sister Ratna has kept the class X books he was to study this year. Another notebook has an NOC written by him in Hindi on behalf of his mother Nagamma before his Visakhapatnam school tour. "I have no objection in sending my son. The school will not be held responsible for any anhonee (unforeseen circumstances) during the travel."
. . . .

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/stories-of-the-dead/971583/0
 

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Army tip: ask IPS officers to fight Maoists

New Delhi, July 8: The Union ministry of home affairs is back to the drawing board on its counter-Maoist strategy, consulting military experts and comparing experiences since the June 28-29 shooting in Chhattisgarh in which an estimated 22 villagers were killed.

In one of a series of meetings, a senior officer from the Army Headquarters gave blunt advice to Union home secretary R.K. Singh: "Get your IPS officers to command battalions and lead from the front instead of making them babus behind desks."

On the intervening night of June 28 and 29, 22 tribals, said to be unarmed, were killed in two separate attacks by the Central Reserve Police Force in south Chhattisgarh.

A total of 17 were killed in Sakerguda, 3km from a CRPF camp at Basaguda. Of those killed, 12 were under 16 years of age and two were 12-year-olds. Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh alleged they were used as "human shields" by the Maoists and Union home minister P. Chidambaram has said he was "deeply sorry if innocents" had been killed.

In the Indian Army, that is involved in training central and state police forces for counter-Maoist operations, there is the feeling that the CRPF and the central police organisations are not suitably trained and lack leadership skills at the tactical level.

The Army Headquarters has also advised the home ministry that the CRPF should change from the company and platoon-level deployment to battalion-level deployment. This advice was given after a ministry of home affairs official told a military adviser that the CRPF had adopted the army's Kashmir model of "grid deployment".

The army's advice was also reflected in a paper presented by a former army officer, Brigadier (retired) Rumel Dahiya, now adviser (net assessment and defence studies) at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.

In a paper presented at the army-backed think-tank Centre For Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), Brig. Dahiya wrote: "Presently the CRPF is employed in company and platoon lots and often attached to police stations or to the district police. There is no specific area of operations assigned to CRPF battalions under the command of their commanding officer. Companies are often commanded by inspectors in their 50s who neither have the energy and stamina nor motivation to fight an invisible opponent with thorough knowledge of terrain and enjoying local support."

The senior officer from the Army Headquarters, who was advising the home ministry, was surprised to learn that no IPS officer is commandant of a battalion of the CRPF. IPS officers join the force only at the level of deputy inspector-general and upwards. Commandants are junior and are drawn from the CRPF's own cadre.

The officer said this was contrary to the practice in the army in which lieutenants, captains and majors command sections, platoons and companies before rising to command battalions as lieutenant colonel or colonel.

This means that the men they command know that their commanding officer is worthy of leading by example.

In fact, even as the counter-Maoist operations have led to a greater interaction between the military and the police, the differences between the two types of forces have become even starker. A military adviser from the Army Headquarters has been attached to the home ministry for the past four years.

Not only the army, but also the air force has been complaining that the central and state police organisations are not following standard operating procedures or routing their requests through the right channels. Although the army is not directly involved in the counter-Maoist operations, it has two battalions deployed in south Chhattisgarh for more than a year for training.

But the Chhattisgarh government has not yet given the army maps for it to move into the "manoeuvre range" allocated to the army in the Marh region. The vice-chief of army staff, Lt General S.K. Singh, had also visited Chhattisgarh recently.

The differences in the styles of functioning were most apparent when Union home secretary R.K. Singh visited Chintalnar in Chhattisgarh.

Chintalnar is the CRPF camp just a kilometre from Mukram where 76 policemen were killed by Maoists on April 6, 2010, in the largest insurgent strike in 60 years.

Officials accompanying the home secretary spent a tense one hour waiting for an Indian Air Force helicopter to pick him up from the Maoist hotbed.

A group of about a dozen officials, including R.K. Singh, flew from Raipur to Chintalnar. The helicopter dropped the officials at the spot and flew back to Jagdalpur because the IAF cannot switch off the rotors at any location except Jagdalpur and Raipur.

"We were then communicated that since the air had become rarer because of the heat, the chopper will not be able to come on time. There was a delay of over an hour. All compulsions notwithstanding, the home secretary was left stranded at a vulnerable spot," said an official who was part of the group at Chintalnar.

Later, the chopper could ferry back only five persons and senior officers, including inspectors-general, had to be left behind. Another smaller helicopter was requisitioned that airlifted the remaining team.

Security force officers said the IAF choppers had limited flying hours because of their compulsion on spares. Four choppers of Mi-17 class fly for security forces in Chhattisgarh. Compounding the situation, the ministry of civil aviation recently banned the Global Vectra group helicopters from flying, thereby cancelling the plan for wet-leased choppers from the company. "They were ready to fly 100 hours, which could have given us time to reach deeper for troops deployment in emergencies," said an official.

But there is another side to this "handicap" of security forces.

Some senior police officers feel that the excessive use of helicopters have made CRPF and state police's presence thinner on the ground. As a result, Maoists are able to block roads. "They are moving less on foot. As a result, there is little area domination. There is more reliance on helicopters to avoid casualties," said an official from Chhattisgarh.

Army tip: ask IPS officers to fight Maoists
 

Ray

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Here is something about the Police way of approaching Maoists


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Soft target for rebels, hard way for cops

Ranchi, July 8: Horror has a synonym in Latehar police lexicon. It is called Hehegara.

The halt on CIC section of East Central Railway's Dhanbad division has seen more than a dozen Maoist attacks in three years, thanks to a mined kutcha road that can be covered only on foot and delays response time by several hours.

As many as 22 passenger trains and 55 goods trains pass through Hehegara every day. Three years ago, a passenger train was hijacked, while blasts on tracks have been routine during Maoist bandhs. Ambushing of patrol parties has not been uncommon either.

The vulnerability of the halt, 100km from Ranchi, came to the fore once again on July 6, when rebels forced a coal train to stop in the dead of night and demanded levy from Hindalco that was supposed to receive the consignment.

According to district police chief G. Kranti Kumar, Maoists are slowly and steadily turning the remote railway halt into a base station for striking deals with industrial houses.

On Friday, the coal train left Rai for Hindalco's Renukoot plant, but was intercepted at Hehegara at 1.30am. Maoists took the driver's mobile phone and spoke to senior company executives.

The high-voltage drama went on for some three hours while other passenger and goods trains remained stranded at various stations. Police managed to reach the halt only at 5am. The rebels were gone by then.

Kumar contended that the nearest police station was Barwadih, 18km away, and it took the force over three hours and a half to reach Hehegara. "There is no pucca road to this railway halt and rebels lay landmine traps almost everywhere. At night, we cannot rush. To avoid an ambush, jawans have to trek cautiously and only after cross-checking information," he said.

A police officer said that the topography was such that a permanent police picket would be risky too. "Latehar is covered by dense forests. In fact, you walk 2km from the district headquarters and you are inside the woods, where rebels will always have an advantage," he added.

Another officer pointed out that making industrialists and businessmen cough up hefty levy was the easiest way for Maoists to replenish their resources — from arms and ammunition to food and water.

"And Hehegara provides the perfect opportunity because police will never be able to catch them in the act unless they drive on the mined road instead of walk," he added.

Soft target for rebels, hard way for cops
 

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