Govt Constitutes Inquiry in Dantewada Attack, Probe to Be Time-bound

Observing that ‘something went wrong’, the government has decided to establish an inquiry into Tuesday’s attack on CRPF party by Naxalis in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district in which 76 security personnel were killed, said media reports.

“We have taken a decision to institute an inquiry into what went wrong,” Home Minister P Chidambaram was quoted as saying while talking to reporters.

Announcing that the enquiry would be time-bound, the minister said, “I maintain what I said yesterday that something went wrong. We have to find that out.”

Chidambaram made the statements while briefing reporters after a cabinet committee meeting on security; however, he declined to reveal what was discussed in the meeting.

In response to a question if the Maoist attack came up in the meeting, he was quoted as merely saying, “No.”

He termed the reports of the use of pressure bombs in the attack as incorrect while also refuting that the state police did not know about the CRPF operation for area domination, said reports.

Responding to a question about the source of weapons of rebels, he said that they took away all arms of the CRPF personnel after they were killed in the attack, reports said.

“They buy arms from across the border. There are arms bazars across the border. They bring them clandestinely into the country,” he was quoted as saying, citing India’s open and porous borders with Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“Where do the Northeast insurgents get their arms from? Arms are looted from security forces, procured from across the border, country-made weapons are acquired.”

Answering a question about the sources of funds, the minister said that they rob banks and extort money from mining companies in the areas where they operate, said reports.

Asked about the use of airpower, Chidambaram refused to elaborate on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments that Government had not taken any decision to use airpower to quell extremist violence, reports said.

“My view is that if necessary, we can revisit it. We have to reflect on it,” he was quoted as saying, adding, “If there is a policy revision, you will be informed.”

In response to another question whether shortage of mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) would affect the anti-naxal operations, he said, “That is a decision the operational commanders have to take. In some places, they may review (the operations), in others they may go ahead and intensify.”

“We will provide paramilitary forces to the state governments to assist them to carry out anti-naxal operations, regain control so that they can restore the developmental process.

“So, therefore, whether the operations will continue or intensify, these decisions have to be taken by the state government and the operational commanders,” he was quoted as saying.

(Based on internet reports)

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