Security experts blamed "irrational strategy", "inadequate deployment" and "flawed operations" for the massacre of 74 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and a state policeman in Chhattisgarh early on Tuesday.
"The attack is a result of irrational strategy and inadequate deployment of the forces in the Maoists area. There are 57 battalions deployed over an area of 1.46 million square km for a population of 456 million, which is completely laughable," Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, told IANS.
"It is like a dewdrop in the ocean. With such a small force, you are forced to make operational errors. The incident of attack on security forces is not new. They have been frequently attacked in the past. The only difference is the number of casualties, which is the highest in this attack, and we are not learning any lesson from them," he added.
Sahni said there is no imminent solution for the next three-four years in sight. "One cannot go all out after Maoists till the time the security forces really build up on capacity, intelligence gathering, (there is) maximum mobilisation of state policemen, and re-training and re-arming them," he said.
"It has been a flawed operation, it still is," said K.P.S. Gill, a former Punjab police chief and security advisor to the Chhattisgarh government. "Their basic concept is flawed," he told Times Now television.
Other experts said the dead men Tuesday had violated the basic principles of anti-insurgency operations by travelling in large numbers in vehicles, providing an easy target for the Maoist guerrillas.
"There is a clear-cut instruction for paramilitary as well as police to not use vehicles for any offensive in forested interiors. They are to go only on foot and also not in groups," said one officer, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The CRPF men grossly neglected the manuals and finally paid the price."