The National Investigating Agency (NIA) will take over the probe into the May 1 IED blast in Gadchiroli in which 15 policemen and a civilian were killed.
This was revealed by Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Shailesh Balkawde. “An NIA team is in Gadchiroli to collect documents and information about the incident,” Balkawde told The Indian Express, adding, “we will be handing over the probe to them in 2-3 days”.
Asked why NIA will be taking over the probe, he said, “The NIA has decided to take up some Naxal cases for probe. They are taking up some cases from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand too.”
The blast had taken place near Jambhulkheda village in Kurkheda tahsil when a civilian vehicle carrying 15 commandos of Gadchiroli police were headed for the Purada police station after being called there by then Sub-Divisional Police Officer Shailesh Kale following an incident of arson by Naxals a few kilometres from Purada a few hours before. Kale was first transferred and later suspended.
Six persons have so far been arrested in the case following the arrest of two senior Naxal leaders Narmada and Kiran.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the sixth person arrested earlier this week, Kailash Ramchandani, was said to be the Kurkheda tahsil president of a political party. Balkawde said, “I can’t confirm. I have only heard about it.” The district president of the party didn’t respond to calls.
A senior police official said, “Ramchandani was arrested for supplying electrical materials like switch, wires and fuses etc used for the May 1 blast after his role was revealed by Narmada during interrogation.” He had been in touch with the Naxals for the past few years, the police claimed.