The inquiry committee to probe the February 15 strike on the Silda camp in West Bengal by suspected Maoists , will be set up next week after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee returns from his Birbhum district visit, on Monday.

West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told journalists at the Secretariat: “The Chief Minister has already said that an inquiry will be conducted on the Silda strike. Details about the committee will be finalised on his return.”

Mr. Bhattacharjee had said the probe will investigate aspects like the total number of attackers, their origin, their modus operandi and also whether the State police had any prior intelligence on the strike. “This is because we have to learn from the mistakes,” he said, admitting to a lack of alertness.

He also described as ‘unfortunate,’ the difference of opinion that had surfaced between two of the State’s top officials over the Silda strike. Referring to this on Saturday, Mr. Sen said this was an unnecessary controversy and the State Director General of Police had told Mr. Sen that he was quoted out of context by the media. The inquiry would establish whether there was any advance information on the strike, he added.

“Wrong location”

Meanwhile, a senior official of the Eastern Frontier Rifles which lost 24 of its men to the attack, told the media at Salua in Midnapore that the camp was located “very unprofessionally” in the midst of a crowded place. “Where would the men [EFR personnel ] open fire in retaliation,” he asked, claiming that despite all odds his ‘boys’ had killed at least five of the attackers. “I am proud of them,” he said. He said his pleas to change the camp location were not heeded.