After concluding its internal inquiry into the attack on the Congress convoy in Darbha Ghati in Chattisgarhs Bastar district last month,the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has sent a report to the Ministry of Home Affairs absolving its men of any kind of negligence.
The CRPF,which is deployed in the region for anti-Maoist operations,had initiated the inquiry following directions from Union Home Secretary RK Singh.
In its inquiry report,the CRPF said that the men deployed in the region did more than what they had been asked to and assisted the local police to sanitise the route of the Congress convoy.
A week after the attack on the Congress convoy on May 25,the Home Secretary in a letter to CRPF DG Pranay Sahay had asked him to find out whether the CRPF companies deployed at Tongpal and Darbha failed to reach the place of attack in time.
We have submitted our internal inquiry report. There was no negligence on part of our men,they did whatever they were asked to do by the local police. The CRPF company from Darbha was the first responder to the attack and we were the ones to reach the place of attack on motorcycles, said a senior official.
Providing security to the Congress convoy was the prime responsibility of the Chhattisgarh police and CRPF being a central force provides assistance to them on receiving a request.
The inquiry has established that the road opening party (ROP) comprised three policemen from Chhattisgarh police and around 30 men from the CRPF. The ROP was done five kilometres each from Tongpal and Darbha. The distance between the two places is 23 km,a good 12 km stretch was not sanitised at all. It was on this stretch that the attack took place, said another official.
Several Congress leaders and workers were among the 28 people killed in the attack
Sources said the Home Secretary had insisted then that the two company commanders be suspended immediately before any inquiry was commenced. The CRPF said this would affect the morale of its men and insisted they would take any steps only after an internal inquiry.