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Silda planned over days

india Updated: Feb 17, 2010 00:22 IST
Debdutta Ghosh

The Silda killers planned well.

The sudden Maoist attack on the Eastern Frontier Rifles camp at WestMidnapore’s Sidla, about 170 km west of Kolkata, was preceded by days of planning and several reconnaissance missions.

According to locals and police sources, the Maoists, for the first time in the state, used two cars for the attack. They carried sophisticated weapons, including self-loading rifles and pistols.

The attack was carried out at around 5.00 pm, when most of the personnel were

vulnerable, preparing their dinner in the kitchen area. Police sources said very few of the jawans were carrying their weapons.

The Maoist action plan clearly indicates that knew everything about the life in the Silda camp. Locals also confirmed that they monitored the camp for several days before the attack.

The locals said some time before the attack, a few men were seen around the camp. And just before the attack, they scared away the locals.

First, the Maoists drove a pick-up van into the camp area through the southern gate and opened fire. Initially, a few jawans tried to retaliate.

But the attackers also positioned themselves on the eastern and northern walls.

It is not known how many rounds were exchanged, but it is clear that the jawans, caught unawares, were in no position to put up a fight.

“I was going to pick up my rifle. But when I saw two friends of mine getting hit with bullets, I was too scared to fight back. I managed to escape the camp and hid inside a tea stall till the Maoists left,” said Sishu Chettry, a jawan.