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Madanwada Maoist Attack: Judicial Commission Questions IPS Mukesh Gupta's Role

29 police personnel, including an SP, lost their life in Madanwada Maoist attack in July 2009.

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A one-member Judicial Commission tasked to probe the Madanwada Maoist ambush that resulted in the death of 29 police personnel in 2009 was tabled by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in Assembly on 16 March 2022.

The report strongly questioned the actions of IPS officer Mukesh Gupta, who was posted as Inspector General (Durg range) at that time saying that 'had commander/IG zone acted with wisdom or had shown courage the results would have been totally different.'

The incident which resulted in 29 soldiers losing their life to a gun battle with Maoists in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh in 2009 was one of the biggest Maoist attacks in the history of the state.

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In the three-stage attack by Maoists on 12 July 2009, the then superintendent of police Vinod Choubey too lost his life along with 28 cops. He was awarded the Kirti Chakra posthumously.

The Baghel government in January 2020 tasked retired High Court Judge Shambhu Nath Srivastava with carrying out a judicial enquiry into the incident and asked him to submit the report in six months. However, the commission submitted the 109-page report on 1 February 2022.

What Are the Report's Findings?

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The report in strong words questioned the role of IPS officer Mukesh Gupta then serving as IG Durg range and called the incident a result of command failure. The report further claimed that there were ‘repeated instances of carelessness and negligence’ by Gupta. The report said:

  1. "Whatever documents are available on record, the police force present at the post just watched as mute spectators… and they allowed Maoists to do whatever they wanted to do… it seems like they were standing at the receiving end only.

  2. This is also very sad that in the presence of IG (Durg Range) Maoists were able to take away the arms, bullet proof jackets and boots from the SP's and other bodies of the police personnel.

  3. It is also hard to believe that either the said witnesses did not fire at all or all of their bullets failed to hit the aim (Maoists). It isn't a matter of pride or honour to stand like mute spectators, in front of the Maoists.

  4. Had the police fired at the Maoists, there would at least have been some deaths on the part of Maoists as well.

  5. It is an established fact that neither there have been any reports of the casualties on the part of Maoists nor any injuries. sufficient time to call units of Central Reserve Police Force and Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) use them in the encounter."

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The report went on to say, "Had IG acted with courage the results would have been different. Whatever he did, it was nothing else but an act of cowardice from him because he had enough time to call Central reserve police force (CRPF), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and use them."
"... It becomes very clear after the video footage released by Maoists, which is a part of this evidence report, that there were repeated instances of carelessness and negligence on the part of commander Mukesh Gupta (IG Durg), in whose presence the incident took place between 9.30 am to evening 5.15 pm.”
the report further said.
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What Does the Report Suggest To Avert Such Incidents in Future?

The judicial commission in its suggestions clearly pointed out that in future only those officers should be posted in conflict zones who have the training in counter-insurgency operations and are competent to work in Maoist-hit areas.

The suggestions also mentioned that communication system and intelligence gathering systems should be strengthened along with setting up of intelligence training centres in the state.

The government also submitted an action-taken report in the Assembly over the suggestions made in the enquiry report.

The report acknowledged the courage of Vinod Choubey saying:

"Choubey, who was the SP of Rajnandgaon, despite knowing the strength of Maoists moved forward, fought with them and dedicated his life while discharging his duties."

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Topics:  Chhattisgarh   CRPF   Maoist Attack 

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