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Six Naxals Arrested For Dantewada Killings

In a major breakthrough, Chhattisgarh Police has arrested six persons, including self-styled Naxal commander Barsa Lakhma, who were allegedly involved in the gunning down of 76 security personnel here last month.   "We have arrested six
PTI May 24, 2010 14:36 IST
PTI
In a major breakthrough, Chhattisgarh Police has arrested six persons, including self-styled Naxal commander Barsa Lakhma, who were allegedly involved in the gunning down of 76 security personnel here last month.   

"We have arrested six people in two different incidents including Lakhma last night from Morpali, four kms from Chintalnar," Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra told PTI here.   

The six were allegedly involved in the killing of 75 CRPF personnel and one state police constable on April six, the biggest attack on security personnel in post-Independence era.   

The arrested Naxals have told the officials during interrogation that the CRPF personnel had become sitting ducks after they lost the wireless set of the killed Deputy Commandant of the 62nd CRPF Battalion.   

Lakhma told them that the Naxals were keeping a close tab on the movement of the para-military force personnel with the help of the wireless set.  

The others arrested included Oyam Hidma, Podiyami Hidma, Kawasi Budra, Oya Ganga, Dura Joga. They were arrested from Minapa village, five kms from Tarmetla, the SP said.   

They also told the police that they were keeping a close watch on CRPF personnel including the "picnic" they had on April five during which the Deputy Commandant of CRPF lost his wireless set.   

After the incident, these six people had given a detailed de-briefing to Naxal top brass Ramanna and Paparao during which the "complacency" of CRPF was also discussed, they told the interrogators.   

According to arrested Naxalites, the CRPF company was was selected as a target because they had stayed put in one place for an entire day and their movements were under a constant watch by Naxalites, Mishra said.   

The final kill was decided by Naxalites after the wireless set started buzzing on April six at 0300 hours asking the men to get back to the ground and start searching for the lost wireless set of the deputy commandant, the arrested Naxals said.

The arrest of the Naxals comes close on the heels of Centre's move to shunt out three officers of CRPF including its Deputy Inspector General Nalin Prabhat, Commandant of 62 battalion and a Inspector.  

Mishra and Inspector General T J Long Kumeer of Chhattisgarh Police have been also been recommended to be transferred in the wake of the E R Rammohan report which had allegedly blamed them for not properly planning the area domination exercise.  
However, there was no mention of DIG Kallauri who was present at all operational meetings.  

According to the probe, the 81-member CRPF team along with a head-constable of Chattisgarh police did not leave for its mission on April four at the time--1900 hours-- mentioned in the log book.

The personnel comprising companies of the CRPF's 62nd battalion in fact started moving into jungle areas only at 0500 hours the next day despite instructions not to venture into forests during early morning hours, official sources said.  

The CRPF company had spent its entire day in the same ground where they fell to the bullets of the Naxalites in the wee hours of April six.

Senior personnel in the CRPF team had even summoned some people including the head of the nearby village--Mukram-- and asked for large utensils for preparing the meals for the entire group.

As per the operational drill, the CRPF and the police personnel have been strictly asked not to take any help from the villagers or locals and maintain as much as secrecy as possible while moving out.

The element of secrecy was missing in the operation as the CRPF company after spending the entire day in the ground shifted to a nearby "ashram", a hostel, besides ordering the villagers to bring cots and other material, the sources said.

The CRPF battalion was scheduled to position themselves atop a small hillock near the ground by dusk time, which was important for tactical reasons including area domination.

The Centre had ordered an enquiry by Rammohan, who submitted his report on April 26 in which he talked about lack of coordination between the Chattisgarh Police and the CRPF. PTI