Two days before the unprecedented May 25 attack on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh,security agencies are believed to have recorded footage from an unmanned aerial vehicle showing 70-80 men and women converging near the site of the attack.
This footage recorded at 10.20 am on May 23 reportedly shows armed cadres near Tongpal in Sukma district walking in a single row and converging in the Darbha valley in groups of five-six people each,sources said.
The footage was shared with the Chhattisgarh Police,the Intelligence Bureau and the CRPF,they said.
Senior officials said such movements are regularly recorded. But since the cadre mobilisation was taking place around the time of a political rally which had been well publicised and the route of the Congress convoy was also known to security agencies,they should have analysed the footage more judiciously and provided adequate security.
The footage is making a lot of sense now. But since it was only two days before the attack,this should have been taken more seriously, a senior official said.
CRPF DG Pranay Sahay said the force had been asked by the state police to deploy road opening parties to sanitise the route of the Congress rally on the evening of May 24 and they had assisted the local police with the job.
The local police asked us to sanitise the roads at two ends,between Tongpal and Darbha,the distance between the two places being 24 km. Our men assisted them from both stations but they did not go to secure a stretch of around 12 km between the two points. This is the place where the attack took place. The Maoists had placed spotters along the route and they were keeping a close watch on the movement of the convoy, Sahay said.
Around 2,000 men who are undergoing training in Jagdalpur and Bijapur will be deployed around the southern tip of Bastar to help step up operations against the Maoists,he said.
We have formed quick action teams comprising 40 commandos each with equal participation from the state police also. These groups are being given fixed targets and they have been asked to complete the job in a stipulated time, Sahay said.