13 Apr 2010: Veteran Views
Do you think India is soft on terror?
There were three recent news items of significance related to the Dantewada episode.
1. First, an inquiry has been set up to look into what went wrong at Dantewada resulting in the massacre.
2. Next, another item stated that all reporters and other media people were prevented by CRPF officials from talking to the non-critically injured admitted in hospital to share their experience firsthand.
3. The third said, quoting someone from the CRPF,"The troops walked into the ambush site as they had missed the point in hours of darkness. Such a thing could have happened to the best trained force in the world. It was not due to lack of training of troops".
Setting up an inquiry is fine. What comes out of it can be made out to a great extent from the items 2 and 3 mentioned above.
There will be a general cover-up to shield the organization’s top brass who in my opinion are culpable of not training their men for the envisaged operations. I fail to understand how a force moving at night, be it on foot, in vehicles, in dark, in close country (forest), on a foot track, or on road can ever 'miss the point'. Obviously they were not aware at all times where the column was at a given point of time. This is a basic need for any kind of movement by day or by night. Well trained troops cannot afford to make such mistakes. If we accept this logic put forward by some CRPF official we should be having far more army casualties patrolling the LC and fighting terrorists in J&K. Any force on the move has to know at all times where its head and where its tail is at a given point of time to able to respond correctly to an enemy strike anywhere along its length.
Reluctance of CRPF officials to permit the injured to share information of general nature is an obvious attempt to bottle up any adverse comment on the state of training of the Force: uncomfortable for the higher-ups.
True to our old habits our inquiries on Dantewada will also go the 26/11 way.
Col Vijay Rajdhan (Retd)
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