WITH INTELLIGENCE failure being blamed for Monday’s attack on CRPF jawans in Sukma’s Burkapal, senior officers said that the murder of the village headman two months ago by Maoists led to an “information deficit”.
CRPF officers admitted that they had little or no intelligence of the build-up of Maoist cadre for such an attack, barely a kilometre away from the 74th Battalion camp.
“It is clear that we had very little information. This is something that will have to be worked on,” said an officer.
D P Upadhyaya, DIG Dantewada CRPF, told The Indian Express that the force had carried out several civic action camps over the last year, which led to greater interaction between its personnel and villagers.
“We distributed medicines and helped in other ways. The villagers had begun to approach the camp freely for help and we were increasing our hold in the area,” Upadhyaya said.
Then, two months ago, Maoists allegedly killed the village headman, Madvi Dula, on charges of being an informer. “They also issued pamphlets warning people that those who helped security forces would meet the same fate. Immediately, things changed. Villagers stopped coming to the camp, unless they were desperate. This definitely affected our information flow,” Upadhyaya said.
Asked how the CRPF would deal with such a situation, Upadhyaya said the only option was to build bridges again. “Look, if someone points a gun to your head, and asks you to do something, it will happen. We cannot assault them or kill them. We will have to improve our intelligence again and make them understand,” he said.