27/04/2017 12:28 PM IST | Updated 27/04/2017 2:24 PM IST

How Chhattisgarh Government's Apathy Towards Road Construction Cost 25 Soldiers Their Lives


Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Daughter of martyr Sanjay Kumar, who was killed in Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, wails near his body during his funeral at his native village (Chechain) Nagri on April 25, 2017 near Dharamsala, India. (Photo by Shyam Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

It was while providing security cover to construction workers on a kilometre-long stretch of road, that has been under repair for years now, that 25 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) lost their lives on Monday. If not for government apathy, this road could have been constructed in two days, according to a proposal submitted to the state administration three years ago, reported The Indian Express.

This is not a unique incident, but the "terribly slow pace of road construction" in the state has been a sore point for the CRPF for years now. Soldiers are regularly called for protecting infrastructure development, which takes much longer than it should, leaving them open to ambush. One officer described the soldiers as "sitting ducks" in these scenarios.

D P Upadhyaya, DIG (Operations) CRPF, told The Indian Express that "instead of being in the forests conducting operations, the manpower is constantly protecting infrastructure development."

Half of the soldiers had just broken for lunch when the attack took place in Sukma on Monday. One of the survivors of the deadly attack claimed that it was easier to guard Kashmir than being part of an anti-Maoist operation in Chhattisgarh.

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