Home Minister R R Patil said on Thursday that the Naxal attack on CRPF jawans in Gadchiroli earlier this week could have been averted if the central security force had followed standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are in place for the movement and operation of forces in the region.
Patil did not elaborate on the SOP violation that led to 12 CRPF jawans getting killed and over two dozen injured after their convoy was hit by a Naxal landmine on way to Fulbodi Gatta from Gadchiroli. As reported by The Indian Express on Wednesday,security sources maintain that the convoy was in a hurry to reach Fulbodi Gatta as CRPF director general Vijay Kumar was scheduled to attend a function there and it had gone ahead of a road-opening party,discounting the possibility of danger.
Replying to a discussion in the Assembly,Patil said the incident could have been averted if the SOP had been followed to the word. We have given clear orders that the SOP has to be followed. But while working on the field,sometimes decisions have to be taken on the spot, he said.