Death in Dantewada....
The deadliest-ever Maoist attack on security forces left 73 CRPF personnel and a local policeman dead in the thick forests of Dantewada on Tuesday, mowed down brutally, barely able to offer a fight in a dawn ambush along a road near the remote village of Chintalnar-Tarmetla. The deadly message from the Maoists comes as a battlecry, making it evident that all offers of truce or talks are essentially red herrings and they see their showdown with the state as a fight to the finish. It was a ferocious response to the Centre’s bid to reclaim areas that Maoists have long held unchallenged and consider their domain. Home minister P Chidambaram admitted that “something must have gone drastically wrong...They seem to have walked into a trap’’. Saying, “We should not have lost so many lives’’, home secretary G K Pillai promised that the massacre would not go unpunished. He said the search operations had been carried out on the basis of specific intelligence inputs. The attacks were understood to have been carried out by several hundred Maoists, the estimates ranging from 200-300 to 800-1,000. The latest chapter in the world’s largest Left-wing insurgency unfolded between 6 and 7 am, when 81 securitymen, including a local cop, were returning to their base in Chintalnar after an operation that spanned two nights and three days. It was a search-and-engage operation, aimed at challenging Maoists and establishing civilian control over red zones. The Maoists had the advantage of surprise and chose the place and time. After triggering blasts that destroyed an anti-mine vehicle, they opened withering fire on the party as jawans spread out helter-skelter. They did not go far before they ran into the second part of the trap—pressure mines along the road even as Maoists fired from three hilltops. The attack was reportedly carried out by the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the Maoists’ military wing, with the help of area committees, squads, companies and militia members. The massacre poses the stiffest challenge yet for home minister P Chidambaram, who had on Monday said that the government would tackle the Naxal menace in two to three years.
Why Dantewada Is Ground Zero ?
Thickly forested area of south Chhattisgarh has long been unchallenged territory for Maoists. They see Chintagufa area as liberated zone’s “capital” Security forces have been pushing into Maoist zones in last few months, leading to reprisals Dandakaranya forests a crucial crossover point between Orissa, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh
Maoist Mayhem On Men In Uniform : Naxals account for all 5 of the worst attacks on security forces anywhere in India, including J&K and the North-East .
Mar 15, 2007: 55 killed in armed attack and bombings in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh
June 29, 2008: 31 policemen, mostly from anti-Naxal Greyhounds force of Andhra Pradesh and 4 paramilitary members killed in attack on motorized boat in Malkangiri, Orissa
Apr 8, 2004: 19 Jharkhand Armed Police personnel and 9 CRPF men killed by landmines in Chaibasa, Jharkhand
Jul 9, 2007: 16 CRPF men, 8 cops from Chhattisgarh and 1 civilian killed in attack by Maoists in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh
Feb 15, 2010: At least 24 personnel, mostly belonging to Eastern Frontier Rifles, killed in attack on EFR camp at Silda, West Bengal
In the worst Maoist attack before this one, 55 civilians were killed, 40 injured and 125 kidnapped in Dantewada on Feb 28, 2006 .
133 people were killed by militants in J&K in 2009. 908 died in Naxal violence
30 people were killed in J&K till March 29, 2010. 132 have been slain by Naxalites in the same period