CRPF denies personnel were drunk; 2 detained for questioning

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Rampur/Lucknow, Jan 2 (UNI) Even as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) claimed that its personnel killed in yesterday's fidayeen attack in Rampur were not inebriated, two suspects were detained for questioning by the police today.

Talking to reporters in Rampur, IG (CRPF) Karmveer Singh said the New Year bash at the Rampur CRPF group centre ended at 1230 hrs. ''There was no lapse in the security set up...the men killed or injured in the attack were not drunk,'' he added.

Meanwhile, sources said at least two people were detained for questioning at Rampur. A senior police official, who is part of the investigating team, told UNI several people were being questioned.

But he denied that anyone was detained or arrested so far.

''Questioning is a part of the investigation process,'' he added.

Condemning the fidayeen attack, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has blamed paramilitary forces for the incident.

''Despite several alerts by the intelligence agencies and the UP government, the CRPF did not make suitable arrangements to fend off such an attack,'' she lamented. ''They should have been more careful following the threat perception,'' she added.

The state government has already issued a high alert in the state after the incident with the CM asking all the senior police officials to maintain a strict vigil to prevent such incidents in future.

Mr Singh said while it was not yet clear about the number of fidayeen who stormed the centre, they took only five minutes to kill the personnel before they escaped.

In a daring fidayeen attack in the early hours of New Year, at least two heavily armed fidayeen wearing 'khaki' uniforms stormed the CRPF group centre and escaped after mowing down seven security personnel and a civilian.

This was the first fidayeen attack in Uttar Pradesh.

The two fidayeen first eliminated two armed sentiers using a hand grenade and mowed down five other unarmed paramilitary soldiers with their assault rifles. A rickshaw-puller, who usually slept on his rickshaw near the group centre, was also killed.

After killing the armed sentiers in the guard room, the terrorists killed two jawans in the office of Addl DIG and one in the DIG office. Two other jawans were also killed in a similar way.

The fidayeen also targetted a police picket near the kooth gate, injuring three policemen. Another on mobile patrol was wounded when he got down from his vehicle after hearing gun shots.

While police officially has maintained that it was not yet aware of the terrorist group involved, intelligence sources said Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved. They said two LeT fidayeen, who had escaped in February, 2007 from Lucknow police custody from a court premises, could also be involved in the attack. The two Pakistani nationals, were also involved in the October, 2001 attack on the CRPF centre at Jharauda Kalan, near the National Capital.

UNI NAB/MB HS HT1755

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