NEW DELHI: Triggering a blamegame, an internal CRPF report held the Intelligence Bureau (IB) responsible for the lack of specific Intelligence inputs which led to an ambush on a company of 74 Battalion at Burkapal in Sukma on April 24 in which 25 paramilitary personnel were killed and seven others injured.
The report also admits its own failure in reading the telltale signs in the run up to the attack as the Maoists reconnoitred on the troops even 50 minutes before the attack that was executed on the fateful day from 12.50 pm to 1.45 pm.The report has also highlighted that the BSNL towers in the area stopped functioning 24 hours before the attack and they came to life after the ambush was over.
Analysing the ambush, the report also underscores meticulous planning by the ultras for hitting the CRPF personnel.
“To cut the flow of information, they (Maoists) killed ex-sarpanch, Dula, branding him a police informer and warned others against talking to CRPF. People of Bukapal stopped giving any information to CRPF. Maoists began to send their cadre in civvies/mufti in the area where the CRPF was doing Road Security Operation (RSO) to see their numerical strength, weaponry, positions, routes taken to go and return, and to do reconnaissance.
As the Maoists became sure of the tactical positions of the CRPF and its numerical strength, they prepared accordingly on the nafri (strength) of their own cadre and supporting Jan Militia and Sangham members. About 70 to 80 Maoists and about 150 Jan Militia prepared for the ambush,” a North Block official said, quoting from the report.
Two inputs by Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB)—one on April 20 and another on April 22—were received by the 74 Battalion but their contents were generalised in nature, eight to eleven kilometre from the areas flagged in the Intelligence report. Also, following these two inputs, respective units of the CRPF and CoBRA acted upon them but could not find anything on the ground.
“The intelligence inputs were generalised in nature. Such inputs come daily. There was no specific intelligence input on attack on the RSO or any party of Burkapal camp (of CRPF),” added the report.
Admitting that the CRPF troops failed to read the telltale signs, the report further said, “Local information (humint) to the coys (companies) at Burkapal dried up after Maoists abducted (ex sarpanch) Dula Madvi on 09/03/2017 and murdered him. People of Burkapal got scared and stopped talking to the CRPF and coming to the camp. For the last several days before 24/04/2017, many unknown people were seen by villagers in the area doing recce. Villagers of Burkapal knew about it. But CRPF troops were not aware. Thus, there was an information vacuum.”