Use Google Earth, communicate through SMS, camouflage communication equipment, resist the temptation of rushing to water points in jungles these are some of the tips CRPF chief Vijay Kumar has for his men involved in operations in Maoist-affected areas.
Part of a booklet called Atma Manthan, these tips are meant for internal communication among the force and will be circulated before his tenure ends in September this year. The CRPF director general gives these tips in the light of his analysis of 11 big Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand in 2010-11, also included in the booklet. Around 4,000 copies of the booklet are to be published.
Naxals use techniques like monkey jumping, frog jumping and shouting from behind so as to distract troops firing at their positions. The jungle has many eyes, there is a need to guard against them. The troops must guard against the temptation of rushing to water points. They use women and children to distract the troops, Kumar says.
Talking about the April 2010 Dantewada massacre, in which 76 CRPF men were killed, the booklet blames poor leadership and mismanagement.
Even after loss of (a) radio set, they used the same frequency for communication on the ground, Kumar says. The party (CRPF) had not done terrain and familiarisation. Force personnel did not realise that the spots which they used to frequent had been thoroughly receed (surveyed) by Naxals. Intelligence inputs were not shared with men on the ground. Men (Naxals) mixed up with villagers. The force moved in a single queue on the same route even on the second day of the operation.
The booklet also has pictures of the bombs and weapons used by Naxalites.
Use of Google Earth for briefing the men enhances understanding, helping in success of operations. Too much movement on a single day is dangerous and gives Naxals clue to execute incidents. Communication equipment (should) be camouflaged and fewer men should have the knowledge to use it. Convoy with one or two vehicles is always dangerous and bulletproof vehicle also is no guarantee; often such movement gives Naxals clue about the movement of troops, he says.