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Maoists kill 75 CRPF men, PM convenes high-level meet; HM says CRPF walked into trap
Published on 7 Apr. 2010 12:25 AM IST
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India’s sweeping anti-Maoist offensive suffered a huge blow Tuesday when the leftwing guerrillas ambushed and massacred 75 security personnel in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh in the worst such attack since the Maoist rebellion erupted 43 years ago.
In no time, at least 74 CRPF men and a Chhattisgarh police officer lay dead in the inhospitable area in the heart of the country where the rebels have run a de facto state for decades. As the besieged men lost radio contact with Raipur, about 450 km away, authorities rushed helicopters, one of which came under fire. Only seven men survived the brutal and well-planned attack.
In no time, security experts, including Chhattisgarh’s former security advisor K.P.S. Gill, who crushed Sikh militancy in Punjab in 1993, hit out at the state government’s flawed anti-Maoist offensive.
“There has obviously been some element of failure in the operation,” admitted a candid Home Secretary G.K. Pillai. In New Delhi, Manmohan Singh convened a high-level meeting. A sombre Chidambaram said the CPRF walked into a Maoist trap.
“Something has gone very wrong,” he said. “They seem to have walked into a trap set by the Naxalites. This shows the savage nature of the CPI-Maoist, the brutality and savagery they are capable of.”
Questions within Cong
With Naxals carrying out the deadliest attack today, questions cropped up in Congress over the government’s hardline policy against the “home grown” Left wing extremists. Some party leaders, requesting anonymity, felt that “aggressive” statements and postures against naxals could be counter-productive and advocated talks with them.
“It could be counter-productive and may boomerang,” a Congress leader said. “Naxals have to be differentiated from terrorists. Hardline approach apparently works against the terror outfits but not the home grown Naxals,” he said.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said “cornered” naxals were “feeling the heat” because of the joint operation of security forces”. Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said whatever had happened in Dantewada was “most inhuman, condemnable and an attack on the civil society.”
12 arrested
A joint team of BSF and state police today arrested 12 suspected Maoists and seized their weapons from Koilibeda area of Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. The Maoists belong to Panidobir ‘’dalam’’ (unit) and is allegedly led by Ram Singh who along with his assistant Darsu has also been apprehended, sources said.
The Naxalites were arrested by a patrol party of the 163 battalion of BSF and state police, they said. The dalam was responsible for destroying many school buildings.

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