Two senior officers of the Central Reserve Police Force in-charge of the Rampur Group Centre in Uttar Pradesh that came under terror attack last week have been suspended.
The orders were issued after a clearance from Home Minister Shivraj Patil recently.
The CRPF Director General SIS Ahmed had forwarded the recommendation to the home ministry within days of the attack that had exposed the para-military force to criticism from UP Police and Chief Minister Mayawati.
Sources said the CRPF had moved the proposal in light of a preliminary report that had pointed out four to five shortcomings in handling of the attack. UP police, however, has not acted against its officers for their lapses.
Four terrorists had stormed their way into the Rampur Group Centre campus around 2 am on January 1 and escaped after killing eight people, including seven CRPF jawans. They had been able to execute the attack successfully despite an alert sounded out by intelligence agencies identifying the Rampur centre as a potential target.
The local police, however, was not able to identify the individuals or stop the armed terrorists from reaching the group centre even after getting the information. Once there, the CRPF jawans tried to resist the terrorists but were gunned down.
The CRPF's recommendation which follows a preliminary assessment of the attack had indicated shortcomings including deviations from the standard operating procedures. But some CRPF officers insist that SOPs were hardly ever followed outside high-risk areas like Jammu and Kashmir.
The mental framework of the jawans posted at such centres is not the same as in J&K where the force had repulsed three suicide attacks last year, a senior officer insisted. Nor are the logistical resources available to them.
But others point to the clear lapses that the two supervisory officers should have dealt with. One of them was that the main gate had not been shut at the time of the early morning attack, making the task of the terrorists easier. The second tier of security – after the two sentries were shot dead and two more injured – should have been better, a CRPF official said.
The commandant is responsible for the security plan, issuing orders for maintaining security and ensuring that they are complied with, the ADIG plays a supervisory role and is in-charge of the group centre.