Sukma attack: CRPF commandant transferred, force mum on SP’s role

Prashant Dhar, Commandant of the CRPF battalion that lost nine men in Sukma in a Maoist attack on Tuesday has been transferred but the top leadership of the force has chosen to remain silent on the role of the Sukma Superintendent of Police Abhisek Meena.

An order was issued for Dhar’s transfer on Friday evening, sources said.

DNA had earlier reported that nine CRPF men killed on Tuesday after Maoists blasted their mine-protected vehicle in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh raised questions of a “tactical error” as troops came under attack by the same team of Naxals twice within four hours.

“There has been resentment in the force on the role of the SP and now the blame being pinned on the commandant the morale of troops on the ground is low,” said a source.

There were serious questions being raised on the conduct of the Sukma SP who insisted on going ahead with his scheduled travel plan from Kistaram to inspect a new campsite at Potakpalli despite an earlier attack the same morning.

Soon after the heavy gunfight the same CRPF team escorted the Sukma Superintendent of Police for inspection of a new camp site when they heard a blast. By the time they reached the spot they saw bodies of their colleagues lying on the road.

The CRPF team fought the armed rebels bravely and survived the first coming back to their camp without a casualty. But hours later as the SP took the same route the CRPF party travelling in a mine protected vehicle was targeted killing nine men.

They were targeted at the same spot where the first ambush took place.

Sources said the SP was advised not to travel and initially the plan was cancelled but since he insisted the CRPF team was sent along with him for the inspection of the new camp site.

Two recent alerts were issued about the movement of armed Maoists in the area that could target troop movement, sources said.

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