.........NEW DELHI: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) internal report to the Union Home Ministry on the Sukma massacre has revealed grave lapses by the company commander, including violation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
The troops took the same route for nearly two months in violation of the SOP and even the back-up team failed to reach on time, the report said. According to the SOP, the troops are advised against taking the same route in the Naxal-hit areas, sources said.
The ultras were tracking the movements of the forces in the area and the CRPF personnel were ambushed by them on the fateful day.
The 74th Battalion of the CRPF could not even take cognisance of the fact that the Naxals had unsuccessfully sought to attack the forces at least four times in the past few weeks before the ambush on April 24.
The ultras had ambushed a CRPF Road Opening Patrol (ROP) party in the Naxal hotbed between Burkapal and Chintagufa in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on April 24, killing 25 paramilitary personnel.
The report, sources said, has also highlighted a glaring failure in reading telltale signs of the impending attack.
Just a day before the ambush on April 24, a village that was just one kilometre from the CRPF camp celebrated during the night but none of the residents were seen the next day when the ROP team was on its way to secure construction of road in the area. As many as 55 personnel of the battalion were on leave in a sensitive area like Sukma resulting in delayed arrival of reinforcements after a company of the force was attacked by the ultras, the sources said.
Following the revelation of the lapses the company commander of one company of CRPF J Vishwanath was earlier suspended by the paramilitary force directorate for “failure of leadership”.The Union Home Ministry has directed the CRPF to complete the Court of Inquiry within a month and send the final report to it for further action against those responsible for the lapses.
Court of Inquiry
The Home Ministry has directed the CRPF to complete the Court of Inquiry within a month and send the final report to it for further action against those responsible for the lapses.