A voice from Chhattisgarh — talking of the tragedy of Saturday’s Maoist ambush in which 22 securitymen died — is doing the rounds on social media. The CRPF and the local police had walked into an ambush in Bijpaur when they went after wanted Maoist leaders Madvi Hidma of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army and Sujatha, an associate.
The undated video shows rescue operations. An injured security-man is being carried in a makeshift stretcher through the forest to a waiting helicopter.
“This is our Kaushik Sir,” begins the voice. “Many of our people died today. I am Anil Kumar Dubey, Your brother, your son, your nephew… Many of our friends have died. Those who are alive are being taken for medical treatment,” the voice is heard saying in the gut-wrenching video.
The jawans had appeared unprepared for the attack and they were acting on what is now being viewed as faulty intelligence.
The information about the Maoist leaders’ presence in the Jagargunda-Jonaguda-Tarrem belt turned out to be a trap, sources have said.
On way to the spot, the securitymen found themselves surrounded from three sides by around 400 Maoists.
Up to 22 personnel were killed and more than 30 sustained injuries in the gunbattle that followed. Taking cover behind large trees, the heavily outnumbered security personnel had fought back as long as they had ammunition.
CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh has denied that there was any operational or intelligence failure — a remark that drew criticism from Congress’s Rahul Gandhi.
“If there was no intelligence failure then a 1:1 death ratio means it was a poorly designed and incompetently executed operation,” the Congress leader tweeted.
Union minister Amit Shah is visiting Chhattisgarh today to meet senior officers regarding the attack — the most lethal in recent years. He will also visit the Basaguda camp at Ground Zero and later meet the injured security personnel at the hospital in state capital Raipur.