April 6, 2010 10:04:06 am
Ambushing policemen who were out on an operation against them in thick forests,Naxalites carried out their deadliest attack in the early hours on Tuesday killing 76 CRPF personnel who appeared to have walked into their “trap”.
The police personnel were literally caught sleeping in the Mukrana forests of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh,one of the strongholds of the naxals,when the attack took place between 6 AM and 7 AM on a batch of 82,including 80 CRPF personnel. Two were from the local police.
The personnel were returning to the base camp as part of joint operation when it came under fire from hill features just about four kilometres away.
Virtually an entire company of the CRPF was wiped out when 75 of its personnel including Deputy Commandant Satyawan Singh Yadav and Assistant Commandant B L Meena along with the head constable of the Chattisgarh police were killed.
The attack shook the Centre and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram and assessed the situation. Both of them expressed shock over the attack and grief over the loss of lives.
The National Security Council which had a pre-scheduled meeting,discussed the dastardly attack. The Prime Minister,Chidambaram,some of his cabinet colleagues and the three service chiefs attended the meeting.
While the Prime Minister called it a “horrific” incident,Chidambaram said it showed the brutality and savagery of the Maoists.
Rattled by the “very high” casualty,Chidambaram said something must have gone “drastically wrong” in the joint operation as the personnel seemed to have walked into a trap.
Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai,however,ruled out use of air power in the anti-naxal operations. He said the government’s resolve strengthened and it will continue to tackle the Maoists menace as already planned.
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