Mangled remains of a police vehicle that was blown up by the Naxals using IED, while it was carrying 15 security personnel, in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Wednesday. (R) Front portion of the charred vehicle shows number plate.
“Quick Response Team of elite C-60 commandos of Maharashtra Police was heading towards Dadapur where Maoists had burnt down 36 vehicles, equipment and site office set up for the works of National Highway construction”
IN WHAT could be termed as one of the biggest attacks in recent time, Naxalites triggered a landmine blast and killed 15 policemen near Lendhari nullah close to Jambhulkheda village, barely six kms from Kurkheda in Gadchiroli district. The incident, which Naxalites effected on May 1, foundation day of the State of Maharashtra, was a kind of ‘call ambush’. As per the information reaching here, the elite C-60 commandos of the Maharashtra Police were traveling in a private vehicle on Wednesday morning. The policemen belonged to Quick Response Team (QRT), which was heading towards Dadapur (Ramgarh) in Kurkheda tehsil where Maoists had burnt down 36 vehicles, equipment and site office set up for the works of National Highway construction.
The QRT members were responding to the call when they walked into ambush laid by the Maoist terrorists. When the vehicle reached near village Jambhulkheda, it was blown up by the Maoists with a powerful landmine blast that was planted under a culvert on the road. Photographs of the site revealed that the landmine blast triggered by Maoists was so powerful that it blew to pieces the private vehicle (MH-33/T-0483). Bodies of the policemen were lying scattered on the road, and some were probably blown to pieces that were strewn on the roadside. The clothes of some men were shred to pieces and some were thrown on the top branches of roadside trees. Sources said that the number of casualties might increase.
Also, there were reports that a gunfight ensued between the policemen and the Maoist terrorists in late afternoon. A Maoist banner also was found at the National Highway construction site. As per the poster, Maoists of North Gadchiroli Division are observing a week-long protest to mark the first anniversary of Boriya Kasnasur encounter in which cops had eliminated 40 Maoists last year. Meanwhile, Subodh Jaiswal, Director General of Police, Maharashtra, stated that the police force was prepared to give a befitting reply to the attack. “Operations are going on in the area to ensure that no further casualties take place,” he told mediapersons.
It was a sad co- incidence for the police that when 102 police officials including 4 Additional SPs were being honoured at the district headquarters with DG Insignia, 15 of their colleagues fell victim of Maoist violence. This was one of the deadliest attacks of the Maoists on the police party after almost a decade. In 2010, 15 policemen had been killed in Markegaon blast and subsequent firing.
Names of martyred policemen:
1) Sahudas Madavi, Chikhli (Kurkheda)
2) Pramod Bhoyar, Desaiganj
3) Raju Gaikwad, Mehkar (Buldana)
4) Kishor Bobate (Armori)
5) Santosh Chavan, Bramhanwada (Hingoli)
6) Sarjerao Kharde, Aland (Buldana)
7) Dayaram Sahare, Dighori (Bhandara)
8) Bhupesh Walode, Lakhni (Bhandara)
9) Arif Sheikh, Patoda (Beed)
10) Yogaji Halami Mohgaon (Kurkheda)
11) Puranshaha Duga, Bhakrondi (Armori)
12) Laxman Kodape, Yengalkheda (Kurkheda)
13) Amrut Bhadae, Chinchghat (Nagpur)
14) Agraman Rahate, Taroda (Yavatmal)
15) Nitin Ghodmare, Kumbahali (Bhandara)
PM condemns attack, says perpetrators will not be spared: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack on security personnel. He tweeted, “Strongly condemn the despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. I salute all the brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.My thoughts and solidarity are with the bereaved families. The perpetrators of such violence will not be spared.”
Will fight this menace more strongly: Mah CM fadnavis: Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra, expressed his anguish over the attack in which 15 policemen were killed. “Anguished to know that our 15 police personnel from Gadchiroli C-60 force got martyred in a cowardly attack by Naxals today. My thoughts and prayers are with the martyrs’ families. I’m in touch with DGP and Gadchiroli SP. I strongly condemn this attack and we will fight this menace with even more and stronger efforts,” he tweeted. Also, he spoke to Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, and briefed him about the situation.
Governor cancels Maharashtra Day reception: Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, canceled the reception and cultural programme organised at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai, on Wednesday evening. He canceled the programme organised to mark Maharashtra Day, after coming to know about the incident in Gadchiroli district.
“The reception was canceled as a mark of respect to the police personnel who lost their lives in the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli district,” stated an official release issued by Raj Bhavan.
President strongly condemns: PRESIDENT of India Ram Nath Kovind has strongly condemned the gruesome attack at Gadchiroli in Maharashtra on Wednesday in which 15 police personnel and a driver were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites. “Strongly condemn the terror attack in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. Thoughts and prayers with the families of police personnel killed and wishing an early recovery to those injured. The entire nation stands united in the fight against such violence,” tweeted President Ram Nath Kovind.
Naxal attack not due to Intelligence failure: Maharashtra DGP
Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said on Wednesday that the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli in which 15 police personnel were killed was not a result of Intelligence failure. Terming it a “big loss” for the force, Jaiswal said that police “were ready to give a befitting reply to the Naxals”. “I cannot call this an Intelligence failure... The Maharashtra police will take whatever action needed against such activities. It is a big loss for Maharashtra police,” Jaiswal said. The Naxals want to overthrow the State, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal added.
Previous big Naxal incidents in Gadchiroli
THE incident that took place near Lendhari nullah in Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, was 14th incident in which Maoists killed four or more policemen in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts. The previous big incidents in State in which Naxalites/Maoists killed policemen are as follows: n November 10, 1991 – 10 cops of State Reserve Police Force killed in landmine blast and firing by Naxalites on Tumarguda Bhamragarh-Tadgaon road in Gadchiroli. n July 31, 1992 – Seven killed in landmine blast and firing by Naxalites on Gyarapatti Road in Gadchiroli district.n November 22, 1993 – Four policemen killed in landmine blast and firing by Naxalites at Krishtapur nullah in Dechalipetha in Gadchiroli district.
August 7, 1997 – Five policemen killed in landmine blast followed by indiscriminate firing by Naxalites on Nayanwadi-Khandi road in Gadchiroli district.
August 5, 1998 – Five policemen including three of State Reserve Police Force killed in blasts and firing by Naxalites at Kotakonda in Gadchiroli district.
August 29, 2003 – Five cops killed in landmine blast and firing by Naxalites at Kumargunda nullah in Gadchiroli district.
February 22, 2005 – Seven policemen killed in landmine blast followed by firing by Naxalites near Pamulgautam river in Dhodraj area in Gadchiroli district.
n May 30, 2005 – Seven policemen killed in landmine blast and firing by Naxalites at Bevartola in Gondia district.
October 26, 2008 – Four policemen killed in gunfight with Naxalites at Korepalli in Gadchiroli district. n February 1, 2009 – 15 policemen killed in ambush, landmine blast and firing by Naxalites at Markegaon in Gadchiroli district.
May 21, 2009 – 16 policemen killed in ambush, firing by Naxalites, at Hattigota in Gadchiroli district. n October 8, 2009 – 17 policemen killed in encounter with Naxalites on Mallampod dur-Laheri road in Gadchiroli district.
May 11, 2014 – Seven policemen killed in landmine blast and firing by Naxalites at Murmuri in Gadchiroli district.