Apropos the Naxal ambush in Sukma. A very relevant article on the subject in SALUTE, but how many are going to read it? Even if some interested people read it, how many will comprehend the implications? Surely the people who have to implement are not likely to be interested in such advice as truth is a very bitter pill to swallow. Having said as much, someone who matters has to acknowledge that there have been major failures in functions of command, at all levels of the political and bureaucratic hierarchy.To explain it as an intelligence failure is only stating the obvious with the aim of brushing things under the carpet. Indian Army is about the best in the world in CI Ops. Surely the answer lies in seeking their help in training the police forces like the CRPF in handling an IS situation. But, acknowledging failures takes courage.
Col Ravindra Dixit
The CRPF is losing too many lives in anti-Naxal operations. It only reinforces my strong belief that leadership is lacking in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) that have been tasked to take on armed terrorists. I don’t know why the Government is turning a blind eye to this aspect. Lateral absorption of Short Service Commissioned Officers into CAPF will provide the desired leadership capable of leading from the front. Even lateral absorption at JCO/ NCO level needs to be given special emphasis.
Brig Vinayak Ramnarayan
History of killing of CRPF men by Maoists gives us one clear message that CRPF is nothing more than a police force. So far, since 2007, more than 200 CRPF men have been martyred. I find the officer casualty is negligible. In operations, CRPF officers do not lead their men. That task is being done by Inspectors and Sub Inspectors. How do you explain a force of 150 men led by Inspectors? What are the officers doing? Such a situation is unsuitable for counter terrorism/ insurgency operations. We need to take a comprehensive view of Internal Security (IS) and delink it from Law and Order problem. In fact, even communal riots, agitations, rail/ road blocks and organised crime mafia must come under the gamut of IS. Responsibility for IS could be given to Rashtriya Rifles (RR) under an IS grid for the whole country. We could raise more RR battalions for the purpose. Thereafter, we could integrate IS forces including Intelligence under the CDS. But who will do all this? There are serious issues with respect to training and leadership of the CRPF. This is why CRPF personnel keep getting killed, periodically by the Naxals. The video of a CRPF constable being heckled in Kashmir by local youth and stone pelters bespeaks of the low morale of the Force. What wonders then can we expect from them?
Col Rajinder Singh Kachhwaha
In the Naxal affected areas, CRPF personnel must be trained in CI operations in by the Indian Army. I am not aware if this is being done. The ambush of CRPF personnel by Naxals raises several questions.
◊◊ Were the troops resting or on the move?
◊◊ If resting, was a proper reconnaissance of the area carried out, or a brief appreciation done by the company commander and consequently armed sentries posted in adequate strength and to cover all likely approaches?
◊◊ What were the alarm systems?
◊◊ If moving were they in formation?
The Maoists are at best a motley group of brainwashed individuals. So how do they manage to surprise and maul a trained force?The home ministry must look at this seriously along with the Maoist affected states and take drastic action. Such spectacular strikes put a question mark on India’s counter insurgency capability. The Home Minister clearly has his work cut out in this area for the next two years of NDA rule.
Col Yeshwant Umralkar
There are ROP drills which are not being followed, it seems. Sanitisation of the area and keeping it secured also does not seem to be done. Having served in NSG am aware that the level of training of CAPF is woefully inadequate for CI operations.
Col Vijay Anant Natu
I cannot imagine such frequent recurring of casualties if the force is well upto it. It is more than apparent that the CRPF lacks the requisite training to deal with such insurgencies.
Cmde Arun Kumar
When on an operational task like ROP, a lunch halt is not done as a picnic. Troops are tactically deployed in order not to give a target to the insurgent as also men take up positions in turns within Sections/Platoons to effectively observe & engage. Very obviously, the Maoists had been repeatedly noting the casual manner of “picnic lunch” of these troops & very likely at the same site each time. So it was an easy & juicy target. Smartly led alert troops by instinct & tell-tale signs would have easily suspected the presence of an ambush that had as much as a strength of 300. Troops always measure up to the expectations of a good leader on the spot. In this case, leave alone having a good leader on the spot, there was perhaps no leader at all leaders were in their offices kilometres away. Very rightly stated that there was no resistance – so the Maoists picked up weapons & equipment at leisure & took an easy walk to their forest hideout. Pathetic Leadership right up the chain needs to be forcefully highlighted.
Maj Gen Harwant Krishan
The situation in Kashmir is disturbing. Of great concern is the fact that the local populace is interfering with operations. WHAM for all these years does not appear to have made any difference. Where are the tweets of those so called ‘Protectors and Champions’ of the cause of Kashmiris? How long can we continue losing young lives? It is going to have an adverse impact on youth opting for uniformed services.
Gurdeep Singh Narang
Treating Stone Pelters as Enemy is no violation of Human Rights.
You have hit the nail at the right spot. It is high time the Army deals with the situation in J&K in its own way.
Col Pala Ram
We are at war in Kashmir, being fought by other means. Terrorists are being supported by Pakistan. We need to hand over the state to the Armed forces and go for a decisive action. No dialogue or other soft approach will solve the issue. Salute to the brave hearts.
Kamal Singh Dadhwal
Our soldiers must be taught and trained to scrutinise the identity documents, to prevent unauthorised entry into military areas. Senior officers, instead of feeling offended on being checked should appreciate such act of the sentry/ who so ever asked for identity documents.
Col Ashok Tara, VrC
The day the Pakistan army starts feeling the pain, the situation will improve not only in Kashmir but also in the neighbourhood. But for that, Americans and allies have to join the party. As of now or in the near future, it seems unlikely, as every country has to safeguard its interests. We, as a nation, thus have to carry out this task by ourselves. Let us see how the present government shapes up to the challenge. Mere chest thumping will lead us nowhere. The mere fact that unrest in the Kashmir Valley continues and suicide attacks are regular, means that the terrorist groups are confident of getting away, like before. As they say it has now acquired “strategic confidence”.
Brig Om Prakash
I agree that attacker has advantage of shooting first but Sir, my point is,Why Can’t we take this advantage? Why should the enemy have it all the time?
The need of the hour is action. The action which will put fear in the hearts of terrorists in J&K and their masters where ever they are. There is no need for discussions or meetings. It should be all out war with no holds barred.It should be tit for tat. We can not afford to lose our valiant soldiers like this.
I wish to put the things as I see them. First, Kashmir issue or no Kashmir issue, Pakistan will continue to be our enemy. Second, China is taking well-calculated moves to establish its ascendency and dominance in the region; Pakistan is being used by China to block India from rising even as a remote rival. China would also have considered intervening on Pakistan’s behalf, in any future possible conflict which breaks out between India and Pakistan. Since the combined challenge would be very formidable, and could entail unacceptable damage to us, we would seek to avoid that situation. This belief is what emboldens Pakistan to progressively increase the level of proxy-war, whose threshold line is perhaps not known to any of the parties. Three, forget for the time-being the apathy of our past governments towards building our military power, the present governmentshould ideally try to buy time to enhance our economic and military power, because it is economy that sustains the military power. Our enemies however, will work against that and would put impediments in our rise by creating war like situation using Pakistan as a proxy. Fourth, What should we do in the given circumstances? History is full of examples where relatively weaker nations have taken on stronger enemies with steel-like determination and with the moulding of mind to accept any level of wounds in the process of eliminating of the enemy. Shivaji was our great example. This is what we must do. Presently, no requisite signals are being emitted. The very first step is to enhance our defence budget by tightening our belt, and we are not doing it.
Pakistan has been the major reason of Kashmir issue but the local Kashmiri politicians and their opportunistic statements are contributing no less to the existing mess. The funda, when not in power, oppose and criticise every action of the govt and excite the local youth in the valley. Ex CM, Central Cabinet Minister and newly elected MP Dr F Abdullah was leading the banner of Azadi Azadi with the stone pelters just a fortnight back. Will he now ask Azadi in parliament? They need to be seriously reigned in more than any one else. It is equally clear that no action will be taken. India, India…
The Last and safest Bastion of Reliability and Trust is also being eroded and culled systematically. I wonder if we are on the right track.May God help us bring-in some Sanity.