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At Sukma camp, CRPF DIG speaks out: Kept telling Chhattisgarh govt to speed up road

The Indian Express reported Wednesday that a proposal to adopt a new technology that would cut time taken to construct a 1-km road stretch to just around two days had been gathering dust with the Chhattisgarh government for at least three years.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Burkapal (sukma) | Published: April 27, 2017 4:12 am
sukma, sukma attack, sukma naxal attack, sukma maoist attack, sukma crpf dead, crpf jawan dead, rajiv rai, sukma dg, crpf dg, chhattisgarh attack, indian express news, india news At the Burkapal camp of the CRPF, Wednesday. Source: Dipankar Ghose

Two days after Maoists killed 25 men from the Burkapal camp of the CRPF 74 Battalion while they were trying to secure an under-construction road in south Sukma, a top CRPF officer said he had repeatedly raised “the terribly slow pace of road construction” with the Chhattisgarh government.

D P Upadhyaya, DIG (Operations) CRPF, told The Indian Express: “One of the primary things I have raised repeatedly with the state government is the terribly slow pace of road construction. Instead of being in the forests conducting operations, our manpower is constantly protecting infrastructure development. That is our duty, but this Dornapal-Jagargunda road has been under construction for years, and the pace of work is slow.”

The Indian Express reported Wednesday that a proposal to adopt a new technology that would cut time taken to construct a 1-km road stretch to just around two days had been gathering dust with the Chhattisgarh government for at least three years. The technology, provided by many companies, uses state-of-the-art soil stabilisation techniques and unique binding material.

Underlining that pace of road construction needs to be prioritised, senior CRPF officers said contractors building these roads are “often small contractors with very little resources”.

“One patch of road has several contractors making different stretches, and they have little technology and investment. Roads take ages to make and, in that period, our men are sitting ducks. In operations, we make the narrative. But while securing a road, there is very little flexibility in positions and we are always under threat,” an officer said.

Read | Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar appointed DG CRPF after Sukma attack

Officers also spoke of the need to invest in “human intelligence” along the roads. “We need to adopt inventive strategies to get people from villages along the road to get involved in the process. Give them work along the roads or some other strategy. Without local human intelligence, these instances will keep happening,” one of the officers said.

While The Indian Express was at the Burkapal camp on Wednesday, the CRPF was alerted about the possible presence of Maoists in the area, preparing for another attack. An officer, who had reached the camp on Tuesday, asked if there was an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to check the claim. “We don’t have one,” those from the camp responded.

Upadhyaya said what could help in such terrain were PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras — these will provide a 360-degree visual of the road and areas in and around. He said in Bastar, only a camp in Bijapur had this facility.

Officers said there was need to recognise that jungle warfare requires specialisation and special training exercises.

“Our men fight bravely in terrain which is alien, and often completely in Maoist control. They don’t know the local dialects. There are no local representatives who translate for us. Like the Army, we should have joint training exercises with troops fighting in jungles for years. There are countries that have vast experience fighting forest insurgencies for years — Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka. That’s something to look at,” a senior officer said.

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    Pinna
    Apr 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm
    Around 300 Maoist gathered and no one realised ? It was a simple case of intelligence failure. The technology has taken a quantum jump and we are still dependent upon human sources !!!
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    1. Pradeep Bhattacharya
      Apr 27, 2017 at 10:47 am
      The proposed "New technology" would have reduced the rate of fixed 'cut' for Singh Saheb and his bosses in New Delhi...
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        Ahmed
        Apr 27, 2017 at 11:35 am
        Dear Pradeep, I pity your problem of selective amnesia, the crpf DiG has stated very clearly that this is pending clearance sine 3 years, while it has modi sarkar in center and state for the last 3 years. Please think above petty party politics, the lives of our protectors, the jawans, are at stake...! This sarkar does Band bajaa baraat for every thing....after demonisation, terror strikes were supposed to stop, RIGHT ...??!! even this morning, 3 of our jawans are killed, routinely, every other day, we hear of strikes, killing our people..... Wake UP....party and religious ideology is not everything .... the country is above all this ...!
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        Sunder
        Apr 27, 2017 at 10:47 am
        Blame-games all round the worst being Venkiah Naidu putting the blame on Congress Party! Modi sits pretty in the confidence that people of this country are stupid enough to shut their eyes to his failures.
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          Ahmed
          Apr 27, 2017 at 11:38 am
          actually this blame-cong policy is not working out anymore .... the crpf DiG has stated very clearly that this is pending clearance sine 3 years, while it has modi sarkar in center and state for the last 3 years. This sarkar does Band bajaa baraat for every thing... Byt he way, After demonisation, terror strikes were supposed to stop, RIGHT ...??!! even this morning, 3 of our jawans are killed, routinely, every other day, we hear of strikes, killing our people..... Wake UP....party and religious ideology is not everything .... the country is above all this ...!
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          1. S
            s k sahu
            Apr 27, 2017 at 6:19 pm
            Sorry to say that no politician including Our PM is interested to fight against maoist. Give the Army a chance and see the result in 24 Hrs.Please support our poor jawan. Even higher level Officer are enjoying at the cost of life of poor jawan. It is time we should be united to give justice to inocent poor jawans.
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            Naren
            Apr 27, 2017 at 9:31 am
            Morons are moderating ' ry' with 'ry'.
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            1. N
              Naren
              Apr 27, 2017 at 9:32 am
              s@l@ry ...........lol
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            2. Shabih Siddiqui
              Apr 27, 2017 at 9:31 am
              It is shameful lapses of the administration in this case for which priceless lives of Jawans were lost.This is the right time to punish those who dela the road construction permissions to fill their limitless greed irrespective of political affiliations.We are far away from accountability,moral or legal.
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