| One of the injured personnel is airlifted en route to a hospital in Jagdalpur. (AFP)
Raipur, July 11: Hint of Nepali Naxalites’ involvement in the Monday night’s Naxalite strike near Errabore in Dantewada district and subtle changes in the rebels’ ploy have puzzled the security top brass.
The agencies probing into the attack that proved fatal to 23 personnel have sniffed involvement of Nepali Maoists in the incident.
“We have reports that several short people resembling Nepalis were part of the team that attacked the security personnel,” R.K. Vij, the inspector-general of police of Bastar range, told The Telegraph.
The investigating agencies are, however, busy establishing if the short Maoists engaged in the action were actually from Nepal. For, Naxalites from Bihar’s bordering areas (with Nepal) have similar appearance, he added.
The change in strategy and the operation of Maoists to trap the security personnel on Monday night has perplexed the senior officers working on the anti-Maoist operation.
The rebels executed their well-planned strategy with perfection to target the force and most of them were wearing bulletproof jackets to counter the security personnel, a senior police officer said.
A big setback to the security agencies is that the force had to return with heavy losses for the first time.
“Security personnel had attacked the rebel’s camps earlier also, but never suffered such a loss,” another officer added. The rebels had never “defeated” security force in direct fight earlier as it happened on Monday night. Mostly, they used to target the security personnel either in ambush or landmine explosions.
The rebels foxed the personnel on the fateful night by giving the former an impression that they had fled the scene.
“When the force attacked, the rebels fired in air and did not make any movement to give an impression that they had fled,” a police officer from Bastar said quoting the statement of an injured personnel. The rebels resorted to heavy firing with sophisticated weapons and mortars only after that. Several jawans were nabbed even after they were hit by bullets and were brutally stabbed with axe and other sharp weapons.