“No Indian jawan should face an enemy without body armour in the 21st century. It needs to be made available to every soldier," said Rahul Gandhi. (ANI Photo)
“No Indian jawan should face an enemy without body armour in the 21st century. It needs to be made available to every soldier," said Rahul Gandhi. (ANI Photo)

‘Jawans are not cannon fodder’: Rahul Gandhi days after Chhattisgarh Maoist attack

  • Out of the 22 security personnel killed after Saturday’s ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, CRPF lost eight men, including seven commandos of its elite CoBRA, one jawan was from the Bastariya battalion, eight from the District Reserve Guard and five from the Special Task Force.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 05, 2021 04:10 PM IST

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the operation against Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, in which 22 security personnel were killed, was "poorly designed and incompetently executed" and said every soldier in the country must be given body armour. “If there was no intelligence failure then a 1:1 death ratio means it was a poorly designed and incompetently executed operation. Our Jawans are not cannon fodder to be martyred at will,” Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress leader also cited a media report quoting Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) director general Kuldiep Singh as saying there was no intelligence failure in the operation and an equal number of Maoists were killed in Chhattisgarh, which is ruled by his party. "There is no point in saying that there was some kind of intelligence or operational failure. Had it been some intelligence failure, forces would have not gone for the operation. And if there was some operational failure, so many Naxals would have not been killed," Singh, who visited Chhattisgarh following the attack, told news agency ANI on Sunday.

Out of the 22 security personnel killed after Saturday’s ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, CRPF lost eight men, including seven commandos of its elite CoBRA, one jawan was from the Bastariya battalion, eight from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and five from the Special Task Force. In addition to the fatalities, 30 others were also wounded in a four-hour gun battle with the Maoists. The attack, which took place near the Bijapur-Sukma border, came during a combing operation for wanted Maoist commander Madvi Hidma.

Gandhi also said all Indian soldiers should get body armours. “No Indian jawan should face an enemy without body armour in the 21st century. It needs to be made available to every soldier,” tweeted Gandhi.

Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah said the government is determined to end the Maoist menace during his visit to Chhattisgarh. Shah also chaired a meeting attended by chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, senior officials of the state police and CRPF, to review the security situation. “I want to assure the country that this fight will not be stopped, rather it will continue with more intensity till the end. In this fight, our victory is definite in the end,” Shah said.

The former Congress president took to Twitter to condole the deaths of the personnel on Sunday, calling for decisive action on locating and rescuing the missing jawans, and requesting the state government to ensure a speedy recovery for the injured.

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