Information Leak Could Have Led to Chhattisgarh Maoist Attack, Says CRPF

The security personnel were moving between the Dantewada and Melawada camps in Chhattisgarh.

Highlights

  • Hunt on for 'mole who could have leaked info on troop movement': CRPF
  • 7 CRPF personnel died in Dantewada in a landmine blast by maoists
  • Lapse by troops to move without uniform, blamed Chhattisgarh minister
New Delhi: A day after a powerful landmine blast killed seven of its men in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada, the Central Reserve Police Forces said it is likely that information about the troop movement had leaked out. A hunt is on for the mole who could be from "within or outside" the paramilitary forces.

"It is certain that the information about their movement was leaked. Somewhere or at some stage this has happened. The boys were doing a surprise non-operational movement and hence were in mufti. We are looking into it," news agency PTI quoted CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad as saying.

"The movement was planned in such way that maximum secrecy could be maintained," an official told NDTV. But two people including a police officer and a surrendered Maoist had been dropped prior to the landmine explosion and the possibility of leakage from the civilians around the camp cannot be ruled out, he added.

Yesterday, Chhattisgarh home minister Ajay Chandrakar had blamed the forces for the "major lapse" of moving without uniform and arms. "This is violation of rules where soldiers should not move in sensitive areas unprepared," he had added.

The 20 CRPF men were moving in a mini truck - a four wheeler that's normally banned in operational areas. They were also not carrying any weapons.

But sources said it was a part of the standard procedure when the forces were moving without a front and a rear guard - sometimes unavoidable in Maoist-hit areas - they were expected to move in civilian vehicles and in plainclothes to avoid identification.

The blast took place around 3.30 pm -- around 50 to 60 kg of explosives had been planted beneath the metalled road to trigger it.

Officials said the blast was not remotely controlled - it was likely that a few of the Maoists were present nearby to join the wires and ignite the hidden improvised explosive device.

Last year in April, five security personnel died and seven others were injured after Maoists triggered a landmine blast in Dantewada. In March 2014, 11 CRPF personnel and 5 others were killed at Sukma border when they were ambushed by a group of 200 Maoists.