Dantewada massacre: Chhattisgarh reluctant to act against IPS officers

Raipur, May 23 (Calcutta Tube) The union home ministry has apparently asked the Chhattisgarh government to take action against two senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers for their ‘command failure’ in connection with the Maoist slaughter of 76 securitymen in Dantewada, but the state government is reportedly unhappy about it.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has been tight-lipped over the issue and is even refusing to admit it has received any letter from the home ministry seeking action against Bastar Inspector General (IG) T.J. Longkumer and Dantewada Superintendent of Police (SP) Amresh Mishra, according to a highly placed source in the government.

‘The state government is highly reluctant to take action against the IPS duo and will keep the letter in cold storage as any action against the two will further lower the morale of police force in the red zone who are already under relentless attacks by the guerrillas. Mishra is a famed personality in the police department for spearheading the anti-Maoist drive in Dantewada,’ the source told IANS, speaking only on condition he was not identified.

The source added that the two IPS officers had ‘nothing much to do’ with the decisions that led the 82-member Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) team of the 62nd battalion to walk into a booby trap in a thickly forested area in the insurgency-hit Dantewada district on April 6 that resulted in the massacre of 76 men.

The home ministry move comes after the ministry Friday shunted out CRPF DIG in Dantewada Nalin Prabhat, commandant of the 62nd battalion V.K. Bisht, and inspector Sanjeev Bagree, based on the report of a one-man inquiry committee of E.N. Rammohan, that submitted its report to the central government late last month.

Officials say that Rammohan, former Border Security Force (BSF) director general, pinpointed ‘command failure’: in his report that led to the killing of 62nd battalion CRPF men in the biggest ever attack by the guerrillas at Chintalnar, some 480 km south of capital Raipur.

Official sources have confirmed, on condition of strict anonymity, that the state government has received the letter from the union home ministry recommending action against Longkumer, a 1991 batch IPS officer, and Mishra, a 2005 batch IPS officer.

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