Summer connection to Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada

Naxals tend to step up their offensive against security forces from mid-March to June-end when visibility in the forested terrain improves
Security personnel at the Dantewada blast site. ( Photo | Special arrangement )
Security personnel at the Dantewada blast site. ( Photo | Special arrangement )

RAIPUR:  The Dantewada ambush on Wednesday is apparently seen as the Maoists’ response against breaking their safe zone axis. When the left-wing extremists are on the back foot, as more and more areas with their strong presence are being occupied by the security forces, they look for soft targets and change their strategy to counter the onslaught faced.

The banned outfit CPI (Maoist) chose the onset of summer to begin their annual Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) which begins around mid-March and continues till June. In summer, the visibility in the forested terrain improves and the TCOC winds up before the onset of monsoon when the Bastar forest gets thick.

It is during the TCOC, the Maoists increase their military activity, infuse confidence among cadres, increase their recruitment drive, conduct more meetings in villages, lay improvised IEDs or landmines and strategically plan their next course of action.

In such backgrounds, the guerrilla warfare experts said good leadership on the frontline can only ensure the forces follow the proper SOPs with no rules violated and to strike the enemy at its weak point.

In the Dantewada ambush, was it the lack of leadership to pursue the assigned responsibility that led to tragic consequences in the edgy region of the virtual war-zone where the security forces returning from the planned operations got trapped in ambush? In the strife-torn areas, it is known while returning from the operation there are chances of an invisible network of Maoists following the movement of the troopers.

“All key anti-Maoist should always be officer-led action. And whenever you let your guards down the Maoists take the opportunity to hit the soft target, like it happened in Dantewada. The return journey after any operation is very crucial and sensitive when the troopers go back to their base camp or headquarters. There are specified SOPs that should never be undermined under any circumstances,” said Brigadier (Retd) B K Ponwar, director of the jungle warfare and counter-terrorism training college in Kanker.

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The New Indian Express