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Chintalnar death due to bullets, bombs and grenades: Chidambaram

 

P Chidambaram

New Delhi, April 15, 2010: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said preliminary inquiries have revealed that the deaths of 76 policemen in Chintalnar area of Dantewada district on April 6 were caused largely due to bullet injuries, crude bombs and grenades.

Preliminary enquiries have revealed that the deaths of 74 men of the CRPF, one Head Constable of the civil police and one driver of the reinforcement party were caused largely due to bullet injuries, crude bombs and grenades, Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha.

He said 75 weapons were also lost to the naxalites.

Only the post mortem reports and a thorough inquiry, including de-briefing of the injured jawans, would fully establish the sequence of events and the facts, he said.

Retired IPS E N Rammohan has been appointed as the one-man Inquiry Committee to probe the grave incident and he has been requested to submit his report in two weeks, Chidambaram said.

At the request of the Government of Chhattisgarh, 141 companies of Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs) have been deployed in that State for anti-naxal operations over a period of time. The 62nd Battalion of the CRPF was deployed in March - April, 2009, to replace the 55th Battalion. Earlier, the 62nd Battalion had been deployed in Bihar and had gained experience in anti-naxal operations, he said.

A joint decision was taken by IG (Bastar) T J Longkumer, DIG (Dantewada) SRP Kalluri and DIG (CRPF) Nalin Parbhat to undertake an Area Domination exercise (AD Ops), including night halts, over three days.

The actual deployment was left to be decided by SP (Dantewada) Amresh Mishra and the Commandant of the battalion.

An 81-strong force, drawn from platoons belonging to the A, C and G companies of the 62nd Bn, was instructed to undertake the exercise between April 4 and April 6, 2010. It is reported that the force undertook the exercise. A Deputy Commandant and an Assistant Commandant accompanied the force. A Head Constable of the Civil Police also accompanied the force, he said.

At about 0550 hours on April 6, 2010, the force came under heavy fire from the Naxalites. Upon receiving a wireless message of the attack at about 0600 hours, the Commandant of the 62nd Battalion along with 30 men rushed to the place of the incident.

They also came under fire 3 km short of the actual place of the incident. Simultaneously, another party led by Inspector Wagdi of the 62nd Battalion moved from Chintalnar with reinforcements towards the place of the incident but that party also came under fire, just outside Chintalnar, Union Home Minister said.

Preliminary inquiries have revealed that the deaths were caused largely due to bullet injuries, crude bombs and grenades and only the post mortem reports and a thorough inquiry, including de-briefing of the injured jawans, would fully establish the sequence of events and the facts, he added.


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