Monday, April 12, 2010

Dantewada incident.

I WONDER : Thought for the day "More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them. "

Three factors could have led to the Dantewada incident. First, lack of coordination and cooperation between the CRPF and the state police. There is a complete lack of understanding between the two — the state police complains about the central forces while the CRPF has reservation about the state police.

Second, if 1,000 Naxals were part of the attack, Chhattisgarh Police should have provided intelligence. There is enough information in the states, but the question is how much of the information is shared. The third factor is complacency on the part of the CRPF; they did not follow standard operating procedures.

It is a well-known fact that in these areas one should not take the beaten track. One is not supposed to use vehicles on the beaten track as it is mined, you must move on foot, as it is less dangerous. The maximum casualties happened due to the explosion. You can only blame the leader for this kind of a situation. Even home minister P Chidambaram said something had horribly gone wrong.

The CRPF was not following standard operating procedures; they were casual and nonchalant. The problem is that there is a tendency to opt for the easy way. I have this uncomfortable feeling that one reason for this is the tremendous expansion of the CRPF. They have increased intake, and you can get manpower given the levels of unemployment. But you need to equip, train and motivate these men. The home ministry should see if the CRPF has the right training. You need to have pre-induction training before sending them to the battlefield.

The state police should bear the brunt. In Punjab, the tide turned after the police took on the terrorists head on. The CRPF, the BSF and the Indian Army play a supporting role. The state police are sons of soil; they know the terrain, the language. They must be motivated, given training and the right kind of equipment. The state police need to be raised to a level to take the Naxals head on. West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar have been lukewarm; they have been reluctant partners. The CRPF when deployed gets battalion from all over, and they have no knowledge of the terrain or the local language.

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