Naxalites kill villagers in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon

NEW DELHI: Two days after 22 security personnel lost their lives in the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, BJP MP and Army veteran Lt General (Retired) DP Vats on Monday said that the involvement of multiple agencies led to the leakage of intelligence information.

The BJP MP said, “Due to the involvement of multiple agencies, there was a leakage of intelligence information. Otherwise, ant-terrorist operations, anti-Naxal operations are always a surprise.”

After Rahul Gandhi’s “intelligence failure” remarks, Vats on Monday termed the encounter a deliberate anti-Naxal operation and said that political blame games are harmful for such operations.

The retired Army General said, “It was such a big deliberate anti-Naxal operation with 1500 central and state forces involved in it and an equal number of casualties of both the security forces and Naxals. Political blame games are harmful for Naxal operations. Such incidents were also active during the tenure of the Congress governments with casualties of big leaders.”

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Gandhi on Monday, while reacting to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director-General Kuldeep Singh’s “no operational or intelligence failure” remark, said this meant that the operation was poorly designed and incompetently executed.

“If there was no intelligence failure then a 1:1 death ratio means it was a poorly designed and incompetently executed operation,” the Congress leader tweeted tagging a news clipping of CRPF DG’s “no operational and intelligence failure” remark.

“Our Jawans are not cannon fodder to be martyred at will,” he added.

Stating that there was an equal number of casualties on both sides, the BJP MP said that casualties after such operations are an established norm. However, he also said that the intelligence success of the Naxals is noteworthy.

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He further said, “This was a deliberate anti-Naxal operation and casualties are expected in such operations. Deliberate anti-Naxal operation means central or state anti-Naxal forces were attacking the Naxals. Casualties after such an operation is an established norm. There have been Naxal casualties as well that too in equal numbers. But I would say that when such a deliberate operation is planned, then there is also an Intelligence gathering. and the involvement of multiple agencies like Cobra Forces, CRPF, state machinery, and local police. Law and order is a state subject especially when the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is not in force there. In such a situation, the Intelligence success of the Naxals is noteworthy.”

He remarked that parties should not make it a political issue. Pointing out the shortcoming of the state government, the BJP MP said that it should not be lax in such kinds of operations.

“I would advise the state government to provide monetary incentives to the families of the soldiers killed in the operation, declare them martyrs and provide jobs to their kin, to keep up the spirits of our armed forces,” he added.

At least 22 security personnel lost their lives while 31 sustained injuries in an encounter that broke out between security forces and Naxals along the Sukma-Bijapur border on Saturday after a party of jawans was ambushed by Maoists near Jonnaguda village.