“I admit we made a mistake. But we aren’t taking it lying down,” declared Vijay Raman, special director general of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Monday.
Talking to the HT on phone from Raipur, Raman said: “The facts clearly indicate we’ve been careless. And the force must know this. For everything, I own up the responsibility as the head of the anti-Naxal taskforce.”
How is the CRPF gearing up to tackle challenges in the aftermath of the Dantewada massacre where 76 security personnel lost their lives, Raman said all steps were being taken to give a befitting reply to the Naxals. There is a sense of vengeance — but it had to be controlled and based on concerted action. And soon, the whole country will see the results, he added.
The E. N. Rammohan committee, he said, had made some recommendations following its inquiry into the incident and the force was taking all corrective measures taking into account the recommendations.
He declined to share about the team’s findings, saying it was with the Home Minister.
Besides focusing on better coordination between the state police and the CRPF, efforts are being made to improve intelligence gathering in the Naxal-hit areas and also the beat-level information collection.
A top government source, meanwhile, said, the CRPF was in the process of shifting out the entire 62 battalion from the areas around Chintlnar forests in Dantewada — 600 km from Raipur. A new battalion is likely to be placed in the area soon. “The boys from 62 battalions who lost their friends and colleagues in the April 6 Naxal attacks my be traumatised and feeling stressed. So, we are planning to use them at some other place,” the source added.
But is the force adequate to deal with Naxals in Chhattisgarh? Raman said: “Our priority at the moment is how existing resources are mobilised and put to use effectively.”
A CRPF source, meanwhile, said the CRPF men who were massacred in the jungles of Dantewada were not just from Chintlnar CRPF camp. “They had been drawn from different companies, including 42 personnel from a company of the 62 battalion based at Barsur (Chhattisgarh) and 15 from the outgoing company of 62 battalion at Chintlnar forests.”