Chhattisgarh tense after Maoist massacre

Raipur, June 30 (Calcutta Tube) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh met top officials here Wednesday, a day after 26 security personnel were killed in a cold-blooded massacre by Maoists.

Raman Singh met Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Vikram Srivastava and officials of the home and police departments at the secretariat to review the security situation.

Chhattisgarh Additional Director General of Police Ram Niwas said: ‘We discussed how police are suffering too many casualties and if there was any need to revisit the strategy.’

‘We finally reached to a conclusion with some changes in strategy and in the coming days and weeks people will notice it,’ he said.

‘There is no problem in coordination between paramilitary forces and state police. As far as Tuesday’s attack is concerned, we did not find any Maoist’s body. But 15-20 Maoists are feared to be killed in the retaliatory attack by the CRPF,’ Niwas said.

Meanwhile, bodies of all the 26 security personnel killed in Narayanpur district Tuesday were airlifted Wednesday morning to Raipur, the state capital.

The deceased cops were paid tributes at a function at Mana police camp located on the outskirts of Raipur after autopsies were carried out at the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Hospital here.

Authorities are making arrangements to send the bodies to the killed securitymen’s home towns.

Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, Raman Singh, CRPF chief Vikram Srivastava and state’s police chief Vishwa Ranjan were among those who paid tributes to the slain troopers.

A CRPF inspector Parmanand who received gun shots in Tuesday’s attack told IANS that the Maoists were clad in black uniforms and suddenly began spraying bullets on policemen from hilltops and some of them from trees.

‘We fought bravely and I saw Maoists were carrying away the bullet-ridden bodies of their colleagues during the encounter (gunfight) that raged for nearly three hours,’ he said.

Police sources admitted that repeated deadly attacks by Maoist guerrillas had sparked panic among sections of security forces, particularly those deployed in the rebel bastions of Bastar region.

‘The entire police force, including the paramilitary forces, is highly terrorised. The demoralised men need urgent motivation,’ a police officer in Bastar told IANS.

The latest attack by Maoists claimed the lives of 24 CRPF personnel, including an assistant commandant, besides two members of the Chhattisgarh Police.

The guerrillas attacked the 70-strong force in Narayanpur district while they were returning from a road opening assignment in a thickly-forested terrain, some 400 km from Raipur.

The Maoist attackers, believed to be in several dozens, also walked away with AK-47 rifles of the security personnel killed.

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