Intel alerts on Naxal build-up, possible spot of attack 'sent' to police, CRPF

Convoy

Over a fortnight before the Darbha attack on the Congress convoy, nearly two dozen specific alerts were reportedly faxed from the office of ADG (Intelligence) Mukesh Gupta about Maoists camping and training in the area, and the possibility of a major assault at Jeeram Ghati. A section of the forces, however, said they did not receive these alerts. The alerts reportedly did not even reach the Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centre (SMAC) which acts as the central pool for all intelligence sharing.

The Indian Express has copies of these alerts that, among others, were marked to the DGP, CRPF IG (Ops), ADG (Naxal) and IG (Bastar). The CRPF and Bastar IG's office have denied receiving the alerts.

But ADG (Naxal) R K Vij said he received them. Asked why his forces had not acted on the specific inputs, Vij replied: "IG and SPs are primarily responsible for operations in the range as we have given them forces according to their requirement. If some coordination is required across ranges or they need more forces, then I step in as the ADG (Naxal)."

At the heart of the security alerts on a gradual build-up by Maoists in the area is a fax reportedly sent on May 9, which notes that "around 50-60 armed and uniformed Maoists are camping at Badhanpal village and can commit an incident at Jeeram Ghati" the spot of the ambush in which several senior Congress leaders were killed on May 25. The CRPF, Bastar police and SMAC reportedly did not receive this alert.

"Why wouldn't we act if there was such a specific input? Also, if the situation was so alarming, would you waste time in writing and sending a fax or make a phone call?" said a CRPF officer. "We do receive inputs from them, but did not receive anything specific to Jeeram Ghati," he added.

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