Home Secretary GK Pillai admitted on Tuesday that there had been an "element of failure" in the anti-Maoist offensive that led to the massacre of 75 security personnel in Chhattisgarh.
Pillai also told reporters here that the government had no plans to use air power against the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), which has gone on a killing spree in recent weeks.
"There has obviously been some element of failure in the operation," he said. "This incident should not have happened."
He said 82 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were caught up in the devastating Maoist ambush in Dantewada district of Bastar region.
Seven injured security personnel have been hospitalised. Some are reportedly in a critical condition.
He said all weapons of CRPF personnel were taken away by the Maoists, who appeared to number in hundreds. Most casualties happened due to pressure blasts.
Pillai said no member of the security forces had been captured by the rebels. "But we don't need to use air power" against the Maoists, he said.
Helicopters would be used only to transport and evacuate police and paramilitary personnel, he said.