CRPF to carry out joint anti-Naxal operations with Chhattisgarh police

CRPF to carry out joint anti-Naxal operations with Chhattisgarh police

''We will do our planning in close consultation with the state DGP and the state officers. We will have good coordination with them and it will be a joint plan," CRPF Director General Vikram Srivastava said referring to the intensification of the anti-Naxal operations.

Issues relating to coordination among police forces were at the centre of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's discussions with the officials of the Chhattisgarh police and para-military forces during his visit to the state yesterday in the aftermath of the killing of 75 CRPF men and one policeman by the Naxals in Dantewada.

While at a press conference, the Home Minister had maintained there was no lack of coordination, official sources had said that during a closed-door meeting with functionaries of the two forces, Chidambaram had spared none and asked them to show greater coordination and understanding during operations in the thick jungles of Dantewada.

On coordination, Srivastava said that there was no difficulty as far as the CRPF was concerned and that it "is as desired."

"There is no problem in coordination. The state officers never command the field commanders. They are in touch in a coordinated way," he said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dantewada S R P Kalluri had during media interactions on Tuesday claimed that the state police was not aware of CRPF movement in the jungles.

Srivastava said the CRPF contingent, which was attacked by the Maoists, was on an area domination duty and the men fought bravely. "We will contain this problem," he said.

The CRPF chief said the force was looking into all aspects "very minutely" including operational details. "We will take suitable action," Srivastava said.

On if there was some slip-up that led to the killing of the 76 security personnel in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Viswa Ranjan said that apparently the contingent was not able to anticipate the ambush area.

"If they had understood that this can be an ambush point, then obviously their formation would have changed. Even if some people were trapped, others would have reacted. What seems is that they were not able to read that the ambush point and the whole company walked into the (Naxal) trap," he said, claiming that even the world's best forces may not be able to react if caught in such a way.

He said in Raipur that the police was trying to reconstruct the scene and a clear picture will emerge only after talking to the injured personnel, who were currently in a state of trauma.

Ranjan said more complex operations will be launched and these could be done in various ways including a joint operation with clear demarcation of roles.

Maintaining that mistakes in the past have been committed by CRPF, which has a long history of combat, as well as the state police, he said that the unfortunate part was that in this incident, they lost heavily because of a "misreading" of the ground situation.