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Security lapses led to Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: Police
Prakash Chandra Hota in Raipur | March 18, 2007 15:47 IST
Police and security experts admitted on Sunday that the gap in security and mistakes by Chhattisgarh police were responsible for the killing of 55 security personnel in Rani Bodli police station of Bijapur district in Bastar region.
"I have no hesitation in admitting the Naxalites had not only drafted an excellent strategy to raid the Rani Bodli outpost last Thursday but also executed it like a professional army," a senior police officer told PTI.
The Naxalites were about 500 to 700 in number and they carried out the strike from 2 am to 5 am and in the daylight they went missing in the jungle before the police could start an operation at around 7 am against them, he said.
Since the number of well-trained policemen were only 24 and put before about 700 armed Naxals, it was nothing but a 'kind of butchering' as many policemen were axed to death and their 'heads separated from their bodies', he said.
Several police officers and the injured jawans said before any one realised their presence, the Naxals appeared and started killing people, lobbing petrol bombs and hand grenades and opening indiscriminate fire.
They said the Naxals had come with a generator set to light up the area and after climbing the high wall with bamboo climbers, went upto the halls where the policemen were asleep.
Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam had said in the state Assembly the incident took place at 2 am and the Bijpaur SP Ratan Lal Dangi got the information at 2:10 am, but the police forces from nearby stations started moving for Rani Bodli only at 3:30 am.
Police officials have become tight-lipped with Director-General of Police Om Prakash Rathor and Bastar Range Inspector- General of Police R K Vij deciding not to talk to the media on the situation.
Chief Minister Raman Singh said, "We are working on changing the current strategy against the Naxalites and an expert committee would soon be set up to draft a new one" and added the state government was now adopting short and long term policies to deal with the menace.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh police with the help of paramilitary forces has launched a massive hunt for the Naxals involved in the massacre.
Some 750 people have been killed in Chhattisgarh in 1,200 incidents of Naxal violence in the last two years, officials said.
In 2005-2006, 243 civilians, 43 Naxalites and 65 security personnel were killed in 639 while 235 civilians, 80 Naxalites and 78 security personnel have been killed in 560 incidents of Maoist violence this year, they said.