Sukma attack: Does CRPF lack young blood in Maoist belts?

An initial probe reveals that the 212 battalion mostly has senior jawans

Nine jawans were killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma Nine jawans were killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma

An initial investigation into the killing of nine jawans by Maoists in Sukma district of Chattisgarh has revealed that the 212 battalion of the CRPF was filled mostly with senior jawans rather than young and vibrant boys.

Almost all of the nine jawans killed had crossed 40. Most of them had recently returned after their holidays. The attack was carried out by the same group of Maoists who massacred 25 people last year around this time, said sources in CPI (Maoists). 

Director General of CRPF, R. Bhatnagar has rushed to Sukma district. The place where the explosion took place on Tuesday is around 500 km from Raipur, capital of Chattisgarh.

“Of course the jawans were not prepared for the attack. Most of them were not in their uniform which suggested that they did not take any position. Also it’s a fact that the battalions were mostly having older people which was not desirable,” said an officer of the CRPF. 

The slain soldiers are from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha and Karnataka. They were mostly in their casual dress or with track-suits.

The bodies have been sent for autopsy, and the families of the deceased have already been informed about the death. Except two, all of them are married and are in their forties.

Ten jawans were injured in the attack and are being treated at Raigarh hospital.

An official dealing with the Maoists revealed that the biggest problem with the CRPF jawans was that the young boys are mostly taken in the Cobra which is operated for special operations. Many young boys have been engaged in Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir leaving a void in Maoists belts in three states—Chattisgarh, Odisha and Andhrapradesh or Telengana. 

On March 11 in 2010, 76 CRPF jawans were killed in one of the biggest attacks in the history naxal operations in India. In April last year, 25 jawans died in the attacks. This time, however, the Maoists accumulated huge explosive to damage even an anti-mine vehicle.