The latest attack by Maoists on paramilitary forces will not derail the probe into the April 6 massacre of 76 security personnel by the guerrillas, the officer heading the investigation said.
Former Border Security Force (BSF) director general E.N. Rammohan said that his report into the Dantewada massacre, the worst loss suffered by security forces since the outbreak of Maoist violence four decades ago, would be given to Home Minister P. Chidambaram by Saturday as scheduled.
Rammohan was asked if the Tuesday attack by Maoists on five camps of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had the potential to breach his own deadline of April 24.
This would not be so, Rammohan told IANS over telephone from Chhattisgarh, adding that the latest gun battle had not affected the work of the one man-commission.
"I hope to submit the report on April 24. Tuesday night's incidents have not affected our work. Such attacks are routine in the Bastar region," he said.
Police said that no one was injured in the latest attack, which was supposed to give "cover to some extremists leaving the region" to neighbouring Orissa.
The troopers returned the fire and the extremists fled, police said.
Informed sources said Rammohan will reach New Delhi Thursday after completing his week-long tour of the Dantewada massacre spot, nearby areas and the state capital Raipur.
He will be giving final shape to the report in the next two days.
Chidambaram had told the Rajya Sabha Monday that he had asked the Rammohan committee to "fix responsibility" for the April 6 massacre.
The minister had said: "He will do a thorough inquiry. He will examine the postmortem reports and the forensic evidence. I have requested him to fix the responsibility from the assistant commandant of the CRPF right up to the minister in the ministry of home affairs."
In Chhattisgarh, Rammohan met the few injured CRPF personnel who survived the April massacre as well as villagers and community leaders.
He also held discussions with senior police and civil officials both at the district and state headquarters.
Rammohan, a veteran of anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast, was accompanied by state police chief Viswa Ranjan and CRPF Special Director General in charge of anti-Maoist operations Vijay Raman during his visit to Dantewada.