The 48-member joint team of CRPF and local police in Chhattisgarh, which was ambushed by Naxals on Tuesday, had blatantly violated laid down Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) that led to the daring daytime attack.
The team, mandated to guard the workers engaged in construction of a road in Sukma district, used to visit the site every day for last couple of days taking the same route, violating one of the cardinal principles of not taking a beaten track in the anti-Naxal operation theatre, officials said.
The movement of the security personnel seemed to have been monitored by the Maoists, who got ample time to organise a well-coordinated plan to carry out the audacious attack early this morning, killing 16 people including 11 of the CRPF.
"It was a complete violation of SoP. The ambush could have been easily avoided had they taken different routes every day to their destination from their camp, thereby preserving the element of surprise," an official said.